Best Ways to Win Public Speaking Competitions Using Persuasive Arguments
You already learned about causality, sign, and generalization warrants. In this article, you’ll learn about three other types of warrants: analogy, authority, and principle.
Let’s begin with the analogy. If your argument follows the logic that what’s true in scenario A is also true in scenario B based on the similarities between the two scenarios, then you’re using the analogy warrant. Let’s say you make the claim that “we can’t discuss crime without first addressing socioeconomic inequality” and you provide evidence that since the start of COVID-19, during which many businesses have been forced to close up shop, we’ve seen a rise in crime rates in many low-income communities. You can provide a warrant explaining that a similar pattern also occurred after the 2008 financial crisis, so it’s reasonable to conclude that in general, economic recessions are devastating to communities living in poverty which results in higher levels of crime within these neighborhoods. Analogies should be used when you want to draw parallels between two cases in order to prove that your claim is plausible or true.
Authority is another type of warrant that relies on the reputation of a source. Suppose you claim that we should rely on software instead of judges and jurors to determine just sentencing as a solution to discrimination within the justice system. To support this claim, you provide evidence that proves software used to determine prison sentencing is 30% more objective in the decision-making process than humans. Now, if you want to connect this claim to an authority warrant, you can cite the opinion of a reputable legal expert who can explain why even judges may be influenced by personal bias. These warrants can be quite useful if you can find an authority that backs your claim and is directly affected by the information.
Finally, we have the principle warrant. Here you want to identify a principle, or fundamental proposition, that is widely accepted as valid. If you can show instances where this principle applies, you’ll have a strong warrant on your hands. For instance, let’s say your claim is, we are losing out on important sources of information. Your grounds could be:
Local newspapers are going bankrupt despite being the best sources of investigative journalism. Many breaking news stories are originally reported by local papers such as the Jeff Epsein case first heard in the Miami Herald or the problem with Boeing 737 plane designs, discovered by Seattle Times.
To connect these grounds back to your claim, your warrant can explain why freedom of speech is a crucial principle to uphold and that by doing nothing to support local newspapers, we are stifling our freedom to learn and speak out against the crimes and corruption exposed by these papers. You’d essentially emphasize that if you don’t support local papers, you would be infringing on a valuable principle. This type of warrant can be used if you’re able to identify a universal value, human right, or a moral rule that you think shouldn’t be broken. With so many ways to reason with your audience and help them understand the links between your claims and grounds, you’re sure to find a strategy that suits your style and content.
1958 was a long time ago, but its discoveries are still relevant to this day. Satellites are still launched into space, the peace sign is still used worldwide, and thank goodness for public leadership speakers like you, Toulmin’s model of argumentation will stay relevant for a long time.