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Yaffe's Elements

 

Disciplines Argument > Making the argument > Yaffe's Elements

Claim | Evidence | Balance | See also

 

Communication scholar Philip Yaffe describes three elements to include in a written argument. This is a simple structure that can be easier to use than Toulmin's fuller argument model.

Claim

Say something about the subject that encourages the reader to want to know more. It might be something that seems outrageous or something that stimulates needs or goals. Like a headline, its main purpose is to grab attention.

Example

The CEO is mad.

Evidence

This is a presentation in support of the claim that gives facts and figures (or perhaps just opinion) by which the other person will agree with you, take an opposing stance, or seek more evidence before deciding.

Example

The dictionary describes madness as losing grasp on reality. Spending money we do not have on a company we do not need which has products our customers do not want is unreal in the extreme.

Balance

This part shows that you have considered the arguments against the claim as well as the evidence for it. Present the counter-arguments and compare them with the arguments you have to show that your case is stronger.

Example

But what if buying that company somehow makes sense? Yet it has not been profitable for five years and we have no experience in that area to turn it around.

See also

Toulmin's argument model

 

Yaffe, P. (2009). The Gettysberg Approach to Writing and Speaking Like a Professional, Phoenix, AR: Indi Publishing

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