Your Definition Argument
An outline of your Definition Argument using
the Toulmin system is due Tuesday, October 13. Here is what such an outline
would look like if you were writing about hog factories. In the following
example, the student has generated a definition argument supported by four
reasons. Notice that he expresses ONE reason per enthymeme and that, as
a result, his outline will present four enthymemes. It's never to early
to begin thinking about your title, either.
Oct. 13, 1998
Turning Kentucky Landscapes into Pig Sties:
The Ecological Case Against Hog Factories
Thesis: Hog factories are, by their very natures,
cruel and environmentally- unsound farming practices because they damage
the environment, they pose a threat to the safety of area wildlife, they
pose a risk to human health, and they fail to provide intelligent animals
with any quality of life.
Enthymeme: Hog factories are environmentally
unsound because they pollute the environment.
Repeat this procedure for each of your reasons,
starting with the enthymeme and working your way to the qualifiers.
Claim: Hog factories are environmentally unsound.
Reason: Hog factories pollute the environment.
Warrant: Farming practices that pollute the
environment are environmentally unsound.
Backing: proof that farming practices that
pollute the environment are unsound. I bet my audience will grant me this
warrant because we share the underlying belief that polluting the environment
Grounds: all the evidence and proof that hog
factories actually pollute the environment. Factories may contain as many
as 5000 individual hogs (find source for this). That many large animals
produces as much raw sewage in one building as a small town does over several
miles, and without sewage treatment! I plan to research this reason further
to produce more evidence.
Conditions of Rebuttal: To my warrant and
backing, some opponents might claim that MANY farming practices leave
residues in the environment (plowing, grazing, fertilizing, etc.) and that
such residues aren't always pollution. In addition, they might not value
the environment as much as they value a profit or jobs. To my
reason and grounds, opponents might say that hog factories use a minimal
amount of land and thus are environmentally friendly.
Qualifiers: I think I might qualify
my reason since hog factories might be made more ecologically sound
in the future: As they are currently operated, hog factories damage
the environment. I probably ought to qualify my warrant,
too: In most cases, farming practices that damage the environment
are environmentally unsound.
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