Why is this funny? Sudden violence is not expected. Contrary to all you know about offices as a workplace. Contrary to other things you know, like how football players behave or what they do off the field. So, humor often comes from turning assumptions and beliefs upside down. What are the assumptions broken in the Tate video?
What assumptions are broken? Offices are quiet places Football players don’t belong in offices You don’t control behavior through violence Punishment should fit the offense Managers would not promote workplace violence Violent people are not nice Football players are not intelligent
Warrants Assumptions or beliefs that allow you to link claims and evidence. CLAIM Evidence Warrant
What are the assumptions here? Iraq has Weapons of Mass Destruction Saddam consistently interferes with or delays UN inspections
Because Saddam is trying to prevent inspections, his is probably hiding something Saddam does not have other reasons to interfere (the inspections make him look weak to neighboring countries; UN inspectors undermine his authority at home) A reasonable person would comply with UN demands
Warrants are Different Unlike claims, evidence and other elements of argument, you rarely “see” them in an essay, even though they are still there. Usually implicit. Writers often don’t even know they are putting in warrants.
Good writers try to keep warrants small … Distance from foundation (evidence) to walls (claims) kept as short as possible.
But you can’t always do that … Here, the slope of ground necessitates a longer support. In writing, you must sometimes use evidence that is more logically distant from your claims than you’d like … but that’s the real world. Evidence is not always perfect.
What are some of the Warrants? The defendant killed his wife and her lover with a knife. The defendant is a large, athletic man.
What are some of the Warrants? The defendant killed his wife and her lover with a knife. The defendant is a large, athletic man. Killing someone with knife requires speed and strength.
What are some of the Warrants? The defendant killed his wife and her lover with a knife. A police officer testifies he found a glove stained with the victims’ blood in the bushes outside the defendant’s home.
What are some of the Warrants? The defendant killed his wife and her lover with a knife. A police officer testifies he found a glove stained with the victims’ blood in the bushes outside the defendant’s home. Killing with a knife is a bloody, messy business. Killers make mistakes. You can trust what the officer said.
“You can trust the police” seems like a reasonable assumption for many Americans. But during the O.J. Simpson trial, the defense did a brilliant job of undermining this warrant. They convinced many members of the jury that racism within the LAPD might have corrupted the investigation of Nicole Simpson’s murder. Despite the overwhelming evidence against O.J. Simpson in his criminal trial, the jury found him innocent. He was later found guilty in a civil trial.
Warrants Help you Analyze Arguments Hospital statistics on people who go emergency rooms after roller skating accidents indicate the need for more protective equipment. Within this group of people, 75 percent of those who had accidents in streets or parking lots were not wearing any protective clothing (helmets, knee pads, etc.) or any light-reflecting material (clip-on lights, glow-in the-dark wrist pads, etc.). Clearly, these statistics indicate that by investing in high-quality protective gear and reflective equipment, roller skaters will greatly reduce their risk of being severely injured in an accident. What assumptions does this writer make?
That last argument was a sample question from the GRE test’s analytical section. Interested in warrants now? (They help you get into grad schools!)
Another example "The best way to reverse Aura Cosmetic's recent decline in profitability is to require each new employee in Aura's sales division to enroll in the popular SureSale seminar. Last year, the software company TechAide began incorporating SureSale's week-long seminar into its training program for all new sales employees, and since that time TechAide's total sales have increased dramatically. Also, according to a recent article in a reputable business magazine, the SureSale sales system has been widely adopted among the nation's twenty largest companies, and the employee turnover rate at these companies is lower today than five years ago. Therefore, by enrolling Aura sales employees in the SureSale seminar Aura will also retain its highest caliber salespeople."
One more … The following was used as part of an advertisement: "Obesity is a big problem for house cats, where 50% of house cats are obese. Because obesity is such a problem, kitten owners should feed their kittens Happy Cat brand Kitten Chow, which is lower in fat than most Kitten food. This will ensure that kittens will grow up to be healthy and of a normal weight."
One more: In recent years, Braeburn Corporation has seen lagging sales of its food products. Just a few of the many food products Braeburn sells are soy products. Soy products have been shown to reduce rates of cancer. Because people care about reducing their risk of cancer, Braeburn should increase manufacturing of soy products. This will help Braeburn Corporation improve sales and increase profits.