WHAT IS A TOULMIN ESSAY?
The core feature of a Toulmin essay is that it simultaneously makes use of the standard essay format, driven by a thesis and supporting paragraphs or sections, all the while making use of the formal Toulmin structure. The Toulmin structure is a highly formalized essay writing structure in which you must ground the structure of your essay in the Toulmin approach. This is a very significant limiting factor when you write a Toulmin essay as it means that you must absolutely write a Toulmin essay by including the six elements of the Toulmin structure.
Writing a Toulmin Essay means that you must be familiar with the Toulmin structure. The Toulmin structure begins with a claim which is then supported by grounds, a warrant, and backing. Read on to the next section to get a definition of these different components. Writing a Toulmin essay is also unique because you must write about what your potential opponents would say about your argument or Toulmin claim. The qualifier and rebuttal portions of writing a Toulmin essay are designed to incorporate these elements.
For most Toulmin essays, you will be assigned this type of essay so as to not only determine your ability to write an essay but also your ability to stick to a certain structure of argumentation. When you are writing a Toulmin essay, you must remember that your professor will be grading you as much on the quality of your Toulmin essay as your ability to stick to the Toulmin essay structure. When you are writing a Toulmin essay, think of it like this. Half your grade will be tied to your essay and half of it will be tied to your ability to write Toulmin style. Given that this is how your grade will be determined, getting a great grade on a Toulmin essay means sticking to the Toulmin structure in an almost religious manner.