From Claim to Disagreements: Brief Notes

Claim in Research

A. The Nature of Claim

Claim should be sound and significant.

Three questions

  1. What kind of claim to make
  2. Is it specific enough?
  3. Will readers think it significant enough to need an argument supporting it?

B. The Kind of Claim

  • Kind of problem determines claim and argument.
  • Practical and Conceptual claims
  • Both require different kinds of arguments

C.  Readers Expectations for Explanation

  • Why is the solution feasible?
  • Less cost to implement?
  • No lead to bigger problems?
  • Cheaper and faster than alternatives?

D. Evaluating the Claim

  • Specific and Significant
  • Specific Language
  • Specific Logic

 E. Hedging

  • Means to add statements to avoid absolute claim.
  • Every claim has limiting conditions
  • Words all, always, never, none, every imply absolute knowledge
  • These words create distrust
  • Phrases like in most case, in many cases, we believe, things appear etc should be used

 F. Reports

  • They do not contain the evidence itself.
  • They represent or describe it.

G. Evaluating Evidence

  • Is it sufficient?
  • Is it representative?
  • Is it reported accurately and precisely?
  • Is it taken from authoritative sources?

 H. Acknowledgements and Responses

  • Argument complete only if it acknowledges and respond to other points of view.
  • Question our framing of the problem
  • Question our solution
  • Question our support
  • Imagine alternatives
  • Decide what to acknowledge

I.Framing Responses

Vocabulary of Acknowledgement

J. Three Predictable Disagreements

  • Additional causes
  • Counter examples
  • Definition


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