The Toulmin Model is a format for preparing an argument. For more information on argumentation contact the Debate Team, under Tim O’Donnell
The Toulmin Model
Claim: The conclusion of the argument or the statement the speaker wishes the audience to believe.
Grounds: The foundation or basis for the claim, the support.
Warrant: The reasoning that authorizes the inferential leap from the grounds to the claim.
Backing: The support for the warrant.
Modality: The degree of certainty with which the advocate makes the claim.
Rebuttal: Exceptions that might be offered to the claim.
Example of the Toulmin Model:
Claim: The Ravens will win the Super Bowl this year.
QUESTION: What are you basing that claim on?
Grounds: They have the best defense in the league.
QUESTION: Why does the fact that they have the best defense in the league lead you to believe that the team with the best defense will win?
Warrant: The team with the best defense usually wins.
QUESTION: How can you make this claim?
Backing: The team with the best defense has won each of the last five years.
QUESTION: How are you sure that the Ravens will win the Super Bowl?
Modality: The probability that the Jets will win the Super Bowl is 80 percent.
QUESTION: If you are so confident that the Ravens will win the Super Bowl then why don’t you mortgage your house and place a huge bet?
Rebuttal: Anything could happen. The Ravens defense might have a lot of injuries.