In order to make good arguments in research writing, you need to carefully incorporate five basic elements: claim, reasons, evidence, acknowledgment and response, and warrant.
A claim is our assertion that requires validation. Our whole research argument has to revolve around and support the claim. Whatever we want our readers to believe is our claim. Both reasons and evidence need to be supportive of our claim. For example, in my research, I claim “Arundhati Roy is an advocate of marginalized communities.” Now, I need to supply it with appropriate reasons and evidence.
A reason is a statement that makes our claim acceptable. The term ‘because’ is the mediator between claim and reason. To validate my above-mentioned claim, I might say “. . . because she gives voice to the voiceless through her writing.” Depending upon the reader we might need more than one reason to support our claim and our reasons also might demand further reasons.
Evidence is the data that works as the root of a reason. Evidence cannot always be an assertion and it is unquestionable in nature. If readers are satisfied with our reasoning, they might not expect evidence. However, in thesis writing, we must include data. So far, my assertion has been “Arundhati Roy is an advocate of marginalized communities because she gives voice to the voiceless through her writing.” Now, I have to supply data to support my assertion. I might add “her novels The God of Small Things
and The Ministry of Utmost Happiness
depict the innocent nature of the post-colonial Indians and the third gender respectively.
- Acknowledgment and Response
Even after backing up our assertion with sufficient data, we might be asked to make further elaborations. Hence, we have to anticipate questions and elaborate our assertions accordingly. We have to show that we are experts in our research topics. We should both acknowledge and respond to the questions our readers might ask.
A warrant is a logical connection between claim and reason. It seeks the relevance of our reasons. Claims and reasons might be accepted as independent assertions, but there should be a valid link between them. Because Roy has written about the painful experiences of marginalized communities it is reasonable to call her an advocate of those groups.