Stephen Toulmin, a British philosopher, presented a structure for argumentation in his 1958 book, The Uses of Argument

This "Toulmin Method" provides us the opportunity to figure out what goes where in our argumentation

The basic elements are as follows:

  • Claim - the argument you wish to prove
  • Qualifiers - any limits you place on your claim
  • Reasons/Evidence - support for your claim
  • Warrants - underlying assumptions that support your claim
  • Backing - evidence for warrant

When we begin constructing your Academic Arguments, we'll be using an ArgumentativeGuide that relies on some of these basic elements.

It's critical that you understand and refer back to them as your build your skills as a writer in the academe!


adapted from Lunsford & Ruszkiewicz (2013), Everything's an Argument