Structures and meanings: a way to introduce argumentation analysis in policy studies education

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Abstract

The well-known Toulmin-Dunn model for considering structure in policy arguments has to be subordinated to a more general method, such as Scriven’s, for case-bycase examination of texts: to reflect on meanings, flexibly identify the linkages between
elements, and carefully draw out unstated conclusions and assumptions. The paper presents some simple supplementary methods to help do this: a tabular format for examining the components of an argument and their meanings; second, attention to the use of
terms that convey praise or criticism and hence hint at conclusions but also, as one becomes conscious of the linguistic choices made, point towards possible counterarguments; and thirdly, a simpler tabular version of the Toulmin-Dunn categories, to
describe an argument’s logical structure and the possible rebuttals. Detailed worked examples analyse speeches of the Zimbabwe Minister of Local Government, a diagnosis
of the phases of local government formation in independent India, and a South African
editorial on population growth.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationDen Haag
PublisherInternational Institute of Social Studies (ISS)
Number of pages31
Publication statusPublished - May 2000

Publication series

SeriesISS working papers. General series
Number317
ISSN0921-0210

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