Qualifying Arguments

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scholars I regret that I can't be with

you today but the lesson must go on

welcome to day 29 let's see what you're

about to do on our agenda for today you

should have had the counselors visit

already and so there's just one thing

that we're doing today in our

abbreviated class we're looking at

qualifying arguments I'm gonna do a

lesson on that and a couple of short

activities your homework for next time

we're continuing on with this expository

essay number three we're gonna look at

the next source called how school taught

me I was poor by Jeff Sapp read that

create a or second annotated

bibliography entry and you may have some

time in class today if you finish up

your work to go ahead and get started on

that your learning targets for this

lesson I can qualify an argument this

means I can properly and effectively

reference sources in an essay let's talk

about what qualifying arguments actually

is so far we've read a number of

arguments to determine what we agree

with and what we disagree with but what

do you do when you come across an

argument that you only partially agree

with or one which is sort of correct but

only under certain circumstances this is

the realm of qualification qualification

is simply setting the limits of an

argument in your arguments qualification

is necessary to temper your claims so

that you aren't trying to prove

something so extreme it's impossible and

so you can shut down potential

objections by narrowing in what you're

really trying to argue when you're

responding to other arguments

qualification is finding where that

argument is right and where it is wrong

finding where that line can be drawn

let's take a closer look at qualifying

your own arguments and what that looks

like here's an example of an author

qualifying his own argument a key fact

of white collar crime is that we hear

about only the very slim fraction of

people who are caught most embezzlers

lead quiet and theoretically happy lives

employees who steal company property are

rarely detected with street crime

meanwhile that is not the case

a mugging or a burglary or a murder is

usually counted whether or not the

criminal is caught a street crime has a

victim who typically reports the crime

to the police which generates data which

in turn generate thousands of academic

papers by criminologists sociologists

and economists but white-collar crime

presents no obvious victim and that's

from Dubner and levites what the bagel

man saw here we see a number of

instances where these authors have

qualified or limited the claims they've

made not all embezzlers but most

embezzlers lead quiet and not

necessarily happy lies but at least

theoretically happy lies later on they

talk about how employees who steel

company properly are rarely detected not

never detected but rarely with street

cry meanwhile that is not the case a

mugging or a burglary or a murder is

usually counted not never counted but or

not always kind of but usually rather so

qualifying your arguments can be as

simple as offering language that helps

temper your claims here's another famous

example from Mark Twain in his cornpone

opinions he must restrict himself to

cornpone opinions at least on the

surface here Twain isn't just offering a

little adjective or adverb to qualify a

claim he's actually stating out the

circumstances under which this

proceeding claim is correct

acknowledging that in the in any

circumstances beyond this this claim may

not be correct so by simply paying

careful attention to our wording we can

qualify a claim and make it more

reasonable and thus easier for us to

support in an argument there are

different ways to qualify an argument

you can qualify its quantity rather than

saying all or every you could say many

most or some you can qualify the

frequency with which something happens

rather than saying always in this often

times usually or frequently happens you

can qualify the probability of something

using terms like probably or unlikely or

you can qualify the proof or how

something proves something instead of

saying this proves this which is very

absolute and difficult to prove

difficult to support in your argument

you can say this suggests or this

indicates or this seems to or this

points to those sorts of things

when you're trying to qualify the

arguments of other authors that is you

see an argument another author is made

and you have a problem with it you want

to limit it because it is not entirely

correct here's what that might look like

you might see that many education

experts extol the benefits of

participating in advanced placement

courses but surely this cannot be true

for all students AP courses would likely

only benefit those students who have and

are willing to prioritize the time

needed to fully participate so it's

assumed here that I've run into someone

who has argued this before that there

are great benefits to anyone who

participates in advanced placement

courses but I need to limit that because

I find a problem with that not all

students could benefit surely surely

there are some like you know some in

lower socioeconomic brackets who maybe

have to work full-time jobs outside of

school just to support their families

obviously those students are not going

to thrive under the heavy course load of

an AP course and they're not going to

benefit from it it's only gonna take

away from what they knew what they need

to do to help their families that sort

of thing here's another instance of

qualifying another author's argument HL

Mencken's claim that the average

American values his safety over his

freedom is correct but only when the

loss of freedom doesn't interfere with

the pursuit of pleasure so here's kind

of position I'm taking on HL Mencken's

claim that the average American values

freedom over safety I've made sort of a

concession here as well I've

acknowledged that it's correct but only

under these circumstances here so that's

another way that I can qualify another

author's argument all right that's it

for this lesson go and head out to our

Google classroom where you'll see a new

assignment let me see if I can pull it

up here it is right here yeah qualifying

arguments once again there's a Google

Doc to click on and

this is your copy to type on it's

already made for you you don't need to

make a copy yourself and you just type

directly on this document responding to

what I've asked you to do and click

Submit when you are done thank you so

much scholars you have until the end of

class to finish this up this is not

homework you must finish by the end of

the class because this is a relatively

short assignment

if you finish up early please go ahead

and start working on your homework thank

you again and I'll see you next time in