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CL/EV/WA reading pt. 3

Claim Evidence Warrant Pt.3

A warrant is a general principal that serves as a bridge between your claim and your evidence; it explains how your evidence is both accurate and relevant to your claim.

For example, if one were to claim:

“John Jay College is the best place to study Criminal Justice because US News & World Report ranked it number 1 in that field.”

the reader might ask:

Even if we assume that your evidence is accurate and the magazine did rank John Jay first in the field, why should that lead me to believe your claim that John Jay is the best place to study criminal justice?

 

In short, even if both your claim and your evidence are entirely accurate, it is possible to make a weak argument.

To avoid making a weak argument (even with good evidence), you must explain why the evidence you are presenting supports the claim you are making.You need to establish a warrant between your claim and your evidence. In this example, the warrant might be:

Since US News & World Report is a recognized authority in ranking schools, we can trust their opinion about John Jay.

 the reader might ask:

Even if we assume that your evidence is accurate and the magazine did rank John Jay first in the field, why should that lead me to believe your claim that John Jay is the best place to study criminal justice?

 

This question highlights that even if both your claim and your evidence are entirely accurate, it is possible to make a weak argument.

In this example, the warrant might be:

Since US News & World Report is a recognized authority in ranking schools, we can trust their opinion about John Jay.

The whole argument, then, would read:

John Jay College is the best place to study Criminal Justice because US News & World Report ranked it at the top of the list in Criminal Justice. Since US News & World Report is a recognized authority in ranking schools, we can trust their opinion about John Jay.

Let’s take a look at another fairly simple example from the world of sports:

Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player who ever lived. He holds the NBA records for highest career regular-season scoring average (30.12 points per game) and highest career playoff scoring average (33.4 points per game). Since regular-season scoring averages and playoff scoring averages are the best indicators we have of a player’s greatness and no one beats Jordan in these statistics, he must be the greatest player of all time.

 
ELEMENT DESCRIPTION WORDING
CLAIM What are you trying to demonstrate? Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player who ever lived.
EVIDENCE What proof do you have? He holds the NBA record for highest career regular-season scoring average (30.12 points per game) and highest career playoff scoring average (33.4 points per game).
WARRANT Why do you think that your proof is relevant to your claim? Since regular-season scoring averages and playoff scoring averages are the best indicators we have of a player’s greatness and no one beats Jordan in these statistics, he must be the greatest player of all time.

CONTINUE TO PART 4->