Every writer makes claims in the text he/she writes. These claims are used. by the writer to help readers understand the thing/s he/she is discussing. When used correctly, claims help a writer educate, inform, convince, or even inspire a reader to take action.
Claims are argumentative in nature, and writers (as well as speakers) employ various forms of claims in order to put across their arguments and hopefully convince others that they are right. When people make claims, they are in fact expressing their opinions—ideas that represent a person or a group’s perspective that must still be proven in order to be considered factual.
Kinds of Claims
Claim of Fact
A claim of fact or definition presents something projected as “factual” or “true,” but is actually debatable. By debatable, it means that if people do further research, they may find resources that will prove or disprove your claim. These claims are often found in hasty generalizations. Remember: if a person can disagree with it, your claim may still be debatable.
Fact vs. Claim of Fact
Let’s take a look at this simple chart to distinguish a fact from a claim of fact.
|FACT||CLAIM OF FACT|
|Excessive sugar intake causes diabetes.||Diabetes is the number one killer disease in the world.|
This is debatable because being “number one” can change depending on where you are, what ranking method you use, etc. Notice, too, that since it did not include the year in which diabetes ranked first, the claim became debatable.
|Grades on report cards are signs of student achievement.||Grades measure student achievement accurately.|
This is debatable because students have skills and abilities that grades cannot measure. Also, a student’s grades may be low for a given period, but that does not prevent her/hirn from becoming better later on.
|Climate change is an issue that needs to be addressed now.||Climate change is a hopeless case.|
Although many claim that the effects of climate change are irreversible, there is still a glimmer of hope as long as concerted and consistent efforts are undertaken As long as there is a possibility, this cannot be considered as a fact.
Claim of Value
A claim of value refers to an argument of how important something is. Essentially, this is biased because people vary in terms of the things they value or cherish. It remains to be a claim and argumentative in nature because it may not true for many people.
Let’s take a look at examples of claims of value.
|Marrying more than one spouse is atrocious!||This is a claim of value because there are people who believe that this is allowable?|
|Keeping a dog in a cage is an act of utmost cruelty.||This is a claim of value because there are people who have valid reasons for keeping dogs in cages, such as safety reasons for those who pose risks of biting innocent bystanders.|
Claim of Policy
Policies refer to rules, regulations, and processes. When people encounter problems, they search for solutions or courses of action. When you go to the doctor and the latter reveals you are ill, he/she will advise you on what to do: the medicine you need to take, the food you need to eat/avoid, etc. Since there are several ways to cure a common illness, the doctor is making a claim about the best way to cure the said illness.
Here are other examples of situations that use claims of policy:
|A psychologist was counseling a patient who was undergoing depression and suggested a course of action to deal with it.||Since depression is multi-faceted and people are inherently different, the psychologist’s suggested course of action is only one of the ways to deal with depression, but not the sole way.|
|A chef was teaching a culinary arts class about the famous Filipino: dish known as “adobo.” He showed them how adding laurel leaves can enhance the taste.||The chef’s use of the laurel leaves and his contention that this is the way to cook adobo is a claim of policy because adobo has many varieties.|
Explicit vs. Implicit Claims
Explicit claims are those that are actually said in the text. If we were to relate this to the levels of comprehension, explicit claims can be accessed by simply applying literal comprehension.
Meanwhile, implicit claims are those that need to be inferred from a text. These claims are not accessible unless one applies inferential comprehension. In short, these claims are implied.
Don’t forget these valuable lessons from this learning journey!
- A claim is a piece of information that a writer believes to be true but must be proven.
- A fact is something true and believable, based on tested, proven, and accepted the evidence.
- A claim of policy refers to a procedure, solution, or a course of action that a person believes to be best suited for a given problem or a situation.
- Argumentative claims tend to represent only one perspective and need to still be proven in order to be a general truth.