Thinking About Content
Content analysis of an argument is really just what it seems—looking closely at the content in an argument. When you’re analyzing an argument for content, you’re looking at things like claims, evidence to support those claims, and if that evidence makes sense.
The Toulmin method described earlier in this learning area is a great tool for analyzing the content of an argument. In fact, it was developed as a tool for analyzing the content of an argument. Using the different concepts we learn in the Toulmin model, we are able to examine an argument by thinking about what claim is being made, what evidence is being used to support that claim, the warrants behind that evidence, and more.
When you analyze an argument, there is a good chance your professor will have you review and use the Toulmin information provided in the Excelsior OWL.
However, the lessons you have learned about logical fallacies will also help you analyze the content of an argument. You’ll want to look closely at the logic being presented in the claims and evidence. Does the logic hold up, or do you see logical fallacies? Obviously, if you see fallacies, you should really question the argument.