Toulmin Model of Analysis

For this homework assignment, you are tasked to find a real-world text once again and analyze it according to the Toulmin method. Remember that the Toulmin method is a 6-step analytic process reviewing:

1. The author’s thesis, identifying the author’s main claim. (“Riding your bicycle to work over driving a car will help protect the environment.”)

2. The author’s use of evidence (i.e., data or grounds), which are used to support the author’s main claim. (“Riding your bicycle reduces your carbon footprint.”)

3. The reasoning/warrant behind the use of a given piece of evidence. (“Carbon is a notable greenhouse gas, so reducing your carbon footprint will help protect the environment.”)

4. The author’s use of backing, or imposing/refuting certain popularly held beliefs/values necessary to agree with the author’s thesis. (“It’s your responsibility to help protect the environment…” or “We owe it to future generations…”)

5. The author’s use of modal qualifiers or modifiers to better define the specifications/boundaries of their argument. (“Riding your bicycle will help protect the environment” vs. “Riding your bicycle might help protect the environment” — note the difference in tone.)

6. The author’s acknowledgment of any potential counterexamples/holes in their argument that are immediately rebutted. (“Some may say…” or “Opponents argue…”)

Your submission, similar to previous short assignments, should be no more than 250-500 words, but it should indicate your understanding of each of the 6-main steps of the Toulmin method. Important: not all arguments include the use of backing, modal qualifiers, or rebuttals, and so it’s your job to identify the lack of them (if such is the case) and explain how the argument could be improved by drumming up an example or two of each. Simply saying “the author didn’t use backing” is not a suitable response to this prompt.

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