Introduction to Warrants: State the Principles That Link Your Claims, Reasons, and Evidence

When you make arguments, you’ll often need to explain the principles that connect your claims, reasons, and evidence. In other words, you’ll need to explain to your readers the assumptions that make your argument coherent.

See the Principle in Real Life <

This advertisement for Total Cereal tries to get viewers to buy the cereal by emphasizing one of its traits. As you watch, consider what premise or principle is necessary for the argument to make sense. Who is this commercial for, and why, according to the commercial, should they buy this cereal?

This clip makes the argument that you should buy Total Cereal because it’s more nutritious than other options. The advertisement assumes, though, that you choose a cereal primarily on its nutritional value, rather than its cost or taste. Additionally, the commercial depends on the premise that you want to get your entire day’s nutrition from your breakfast cereal. If we don’t accept that premise—and most viewers wouldn't—the argument falls apart.

In this lesson, you’ll learn how to state the principles that tie the parts of your argument together, so that your reader will understand your logic and will be more likely to agree with your argument.