Shared Warrants


Warrants
Identify/Generate the principle
Time: 20+ minutes

Ask students to imagine that they will have to persuade an unreceptive audience. (You can either supply the claim and audience from the list below, or use claims/audiences relevant to your recent class discussions, or ask students to use a claim they have developed for a paper.)

Then, ask students to write down warrants (at least 3) that they think they share with their skeptical audience. Then, ask students to come up with reasons that draw on that warrant to support the claim. Share the results.

Variations: This activity works well in small groups. If different groups have the same claims/audiences, you might pause when everyone has brainstormed warrants, and have groups share their results. If different groups have the different claims/audiences, you might pause when everyone has brainstormed warrants, then have groups exchange claims/audiences/warrants, so that they have to generate reasons for a new set of ideas.
 
Possible claims/audiences:
Claim: The government should invest in better mass transit systems and bike paths.
Audience: The United Auto Workers
 
Claim: The Internet is the key to world understanding and global peace.
Audience: The Amish
 
Claim: The legal drinking age should be lowered to 16.
Audience: Mothers Against Driving Drunk
 
Claim: We should eliminate the single sanction.
Audience: The Honor Committee