Document Type

Teacher Resource

Publication Date

Fall 12-7-2011


In Rhetoric, Aristotle called the enthymeme the syllogism of persuasion. More recently, philosopher Stephen Toulmin used a similar structure to form “practical arguments” in his Model of Argument in The Uses of Argument (1958). Essentially, such an argument consists of three components: claim, evidence, warrant. The claim is an arguable conclusion, for example “Edward Hopper is a famous painter.” The evidence provides a reason to support this claim, for example “because his work is at the Art Institute in Chicago.” The warrant is an assumption inherent in an argument, usually unstated, in this case, that famous artists have work at the Art Institute in Chicago.

This lesson familiarizes students with the basics of forming an enthymeme and allows them to practice creating them.

This lesson can take 40-70 minutes, depending on the size of your class.



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