What is Argumentation?
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Argumentation, when used as a teaching tool, is composed of scientific dialogue and evaluation of views and ideas and is not what is commonly accepted as an argument - a confrontational disagreement.

The structure of argumentation that is most commonly used in the classroom is Toulmin’s Argumentation Pattern (Toulmin 1958)


“A man who makes an assertion puts forward a claim….. we can challenge the assertion, and demand to have our attention drawn to the grounds (backing, data, facts, evidence, considerations, features)…(Toulmin 1958, p 11)

Scientific argumentation can also follow this sequence, for example, when new scientific ideas are introduced – a claim is made, the scientific community will not accept it until there is some evidence to back it up. 




The statement being made


What is used as the basis of the claim


Another piece of evidence that is used which links the data to the claim.


This can be more information which supports the backing


Sometimes claims cannot be supported and have a rebuttal

Not all arguments however will have these five phases there are different levels of arguments. So sometimes a claim will be made and the person does not have any evidence to back it up, the next level is when there is a claim made with data or warrants.  Sometimes there will be lots of rebuttals to a claim.

What is Argumentation? Why use Argumentation? How to use Argumentation

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Last modified: 08/12/04