Claims, Reasons, Evidence,
Acknowledgment and Response, Warrants
Identify/Generate the principle
Time: 40 minutes
In this activity, students trace the development of arguments
through chatroom transcripts.
Go to a chatroom/discussion board on a topic related to your theme.
Print out a transcript of one or two threads that contain parts
Pass out copies of the transcript, along with instructions for
how to annotate the transcript. (Instructions below.)
Go through the first few messages as a class, then either break
students into smaller groups to annotate, or ask them to annotate
the transcript for homework.
As a class, analyze the patterns of the transcript: did people
make lots of claims, but use little evidence? What seemed to count
as convincing evidence? What kinds of claims didn't even need supporting?
Instructions for Annotating Transcripts
Your job is to analyze the flow of argument in this conversation
by labeling the parts of an argument in the margin. For each, indicate
both (a) what part it is and (b) what prior element it develops
or responds to. For example, Reason, supporting the claim in #6
or Claim, contradicting the claim in #6 or Evidence, support the
reason in #9. If the contribution is a question, indicate what
part of argument it addresses. For example, Request for evidence
to support the claim in #8. Don't expect to label everything. Some
parts of this conversation are not parts of argument.