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ERIC Number: EJ891916
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jul
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 14
ISSN: ISSN-0013-8274
Taming the Warrant in Toulmin's Model of Argument
Warren, James E.
English Journal, v99 n6 p41-46 Jul 2010
In the Toulmin model, arguments begin with a "claim" supported by "data." The movement from claim to data is authorized by a general, unstated proposition Stephen E. Toulmin calls the "warrant." Unlike all other components of the Toulmin model, warrants usually remain implicit in an argument; they are the unspoken assumptions that bind together claims and data. Consequently, no amount of close reading reveals them; instead, they must be brought to the surface through logical inference. Teaching students to identify warrants can be so difficult that many teachers simply omit them when teaching the Toulmin model. This response, while understandable, ultimately does a disservice to students because the concept of the warrant is essential to critical reasoning. Students must be able to identify warrants in their own and others' arguments to determine whether those warrants need support. In this article, the author clarifies the warrant, a concept of formal logic he says is frequently misunderstood. (Contains 1 note.)
National Council of Teachers of English. 1111 West Kenyon Road, Urbana, IL 61801-1096. Tel: 877-369-6283; Tel: 217-328-3870; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A