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ENGL 126: CLAIMS worksheet

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Please copy and paste to a document, and fill out this worksheet (see writing assignment at the end) with respect to your essay #1. Please submit by Thurs. 2/21.

Another textbook, Structure of Argument, discusses three kinds of claims for an argument: claims of fact, value, and policy.

A claim of fact states a fact, like “Half of this class is women.”

Claim of fact needs to be supported by

  • sufficient and appropriate data
  • reliable authorities
  • facts or inferences: interpretation

The writer should make clear when she is offering an inference (interpretation) rather than a fact.

claim of value: a claim that asserts that some things are more or less desirable than others

Claims of value may sometimes be difficult to distinguish from claims of fact, and its not absolutely necessary. What are the values that underly our beliefs?

A claim of value, like “free speech is more important than protecting everyone’s feelings from being hurt,” involves conceptions or ideas that act as standards for judging what is right or wrong, worthwhile or worthless, beautiful or ugly, good or bad.

Claims of value involve the values of audience, but “a majority preference is not enough to confer moral value” (169). Just because most people supported slavery in the times of Ancient Greece doesn’t mean it was right.

claim of policy: a claim that specific courses of action should be instituted to solve problems

Claims of policy: presuppose a problem and that something should or should not be done. However, avoid offering a solution to a huge problem. “Youtube should convene a board of experts to help make decisions about what content to ban.”

Examples: Write on the line what kind of claim you think this is, a claim of fact, value, or policy:

Although seeking peace is a right and morally just act, their governments punish those who speak against war for their “unpatriotic” acts. ______

Taking all of this into account, it becomes evident that the FCC is a hindrance to America, and, on top of that, is a flagrant violation of American people’s inalienable rights of free speech and must be abolished immediately. ____

There has been a big question mark, from the racist and sexist speech to the words or symbols printed on a T-shirt; the boundaries for speech to be defined as hate speech are still to be determined. _______

In both “Student Sues” and “Bethel School District,” we see two public schools punishing students for using their free speech. _______

The Supreme Court stated “that forcing a group to accept certain members may impair its ability to ‘express those views, and only those views, that it intends to express’” (Johnson 596). ________

Write here 3 claims of fact, value, and policy (1 of each kind) that you are making in your own essay 1 on free speech: