Research guide: Executive Development

This guide is designed to assist first-year students in the Executive Fire Officer Program with finding the resources they need to fulfill the requirements of R0123, Executive Development. Specifically, these resources will help you to understand the four step research process and how to write an effective argument essay. Mastering the art of the argument will help you to organize and evaluate resources for your applied research project.

See also: Tips for getting started on your research project

Call or email the library to let us know how we can help. Our toll-free number is 800-638-1821. You can also schedule a research consultation.

The Library also offers a rotating schedule of research classes on Wednesday evenings and Sunday afternoons while EFO students are on campus.

See the class schedule

Before writing an argument essay

The Toulmin model for constructing an argument

There are three basic models for constructing an argument: the Classical Argument, the Rogerian Argument, and the Toulmin Method.

How you develop your argument — and the model you choose to use — depends in large part on your audience and your objective. An advantage to the Toulmin model is that you can also use it to evaluate sources and test the validity of your own ideas. Developed by a logician, the model shows you how to break an argument down into components and analyze each piece.

Elements of the Toulmin model

Claim
The argument being made
Grounds
Data to support the claim
Warrant
Logically connects the grounds to the claim
Backing
Support the warrant
Rebuttal
Objections to the claim
Qualifier
Adds nuance to the claim

The Toulmin model

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the Toulmin model
 

An example of using the Toulmin model

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example of using the Toulmin model

Using the Toulmin model to evaluate sources

The Qualifier doesn’t always need to be present when making an argument. It’s a modification of the claim, so if you’re using the argument to evaluate sources, you don’t necessarily need it.

You can use this same approach when crafting your research paper.

See also: Evaluating reference sources related to your research topic

Suggested reading

How to Write an Essay in 5 Easy Steps
Writing Argumentative Essays
Writing Arguments

Additional resources on the web