Toulmin Argument Model

 

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.