Warranting assumptions | English homework help

Read the section on “Analysis” in CEL Ch. 9 (p. 285-288).

Read Soraya Roberts, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor: An Anti-Hate Pop Culture Syllabus” (Longreads.com). (Links to an external site.)

Although we are focusing this week on synthesizing, or combining arguments, it is also important to double back and make sure that we are able to listen closely for the obvious and “hidden” layers of ideas in any specific text. The authors of CEL write in Ch.9 that underneath the more obvious writing strategies such as thesis, evidence, and support, there are also “unstated” or “underground” assumptions that we can “dig up”: 

“Warranting assumptions (or warrants) are the root system of an argument. Although they usually go unstated […] they are as important to an argument as the explicitly stated points.” (286)

For this discussion post, we will practice “dissecting” arguments and finding assumptions together.

quill icon-01.png Assignment:

Looking over the guidelines for Warranting Assumptions on CEL p.286-287, respond to the following questions in an initial post to this discussion board:

  • What is Soraya Roberts’s central claim — the main argumentative position she is putting forward?
  • What are the most convincing grounds for Roberts’s claim — the support she uses (evidence, examples, illustrations, etc.)?
  • What are the warranting assumptions for Roberts’s main argument, do you think? What ideas are left unstated that connect the claim and grounds?
  • Overall, what assumptions does Roberts make that you agree with? Why? Are there any assumptions she makes that you do not agree with or find unacceptable?

Note: you do not have to answer each of these questions word for word, but your response overall should show that you are considering all of the questions carefully.

Write an initial post to this discussion board that answers these questions. Then read your classmates’ ideas about Roberts’s essay carefully and respond to them for your response posts.

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