Video: The Toulmin Model

The following video introduces the components of a particular type of persuasive writing, The Toulmin Model. It can be useful to think about claims and evidence in your writing, and what unstated assumptions (warrants) might be influencing you.

This image shows how conclusions are reached, using the Toulmin model of arguments.

Flow Chart. Fact: Rick has fair skin, red hair and freckles, and he sunbathed all day yesterday. A blue line moves right, and drops down to two pieces. First, Warrant: People with fair skin, red hair and freckles usually get sunburnt easily. Second, Backing: Those people have little melanin in their skin. Melanin protects against sunburn. Continuing on the blue line to the right, we see another two sections. First, (probably) Conclusion: Rick will probably get seriously sunburnt. Second, Rebuttal: Rick's parents both have fair skin, red hair and freckles, and they never seem to get sunburnt however much they sit outside.

In essays using the Toulmin model, warrants aren’t usually stated explicitly in writing.  They are often shared beliefs between a reader and the writer, however.

Consider what assumptions you make about your chosen subject, that your reader likely also agrees with.  What assumptions do you have that your readers may not share?