MICROTHEME

For the microtheme, you need to write a two - three paragraph argument supporting an ENTHYMEME (a statement of your position on an arguable issue).

Enthymemes are logical statements, but are incomplete as arguments. They include the CLAIM and the BECAUSE CLAUSE, but they depend on an underlying assumption or belief the audience must accept. A WARRANT addresses that underlying assumption.

ENTHYMEME
Claim: Rabbits make good pets.
Because Clause: Rabbits make good pets because they are gentle.
WARRANT: Gentle animals make good pets.

ENTHYMEME
Claim: Marijuana should not be legalized.
Because Clause: Marijuana should not be legalized because it would greatly increase the number of drug addicts.
WARRANT: It is not good to have a large number of drug addicts.

*if your audience does not accept your warrant, your claim will not be accepted. Provide a brief argument that supports your warrant.


For a MICROTHEME, the first sentence should by the enthymeme itself; that will be the thesis statement for your argument.
Claim:
Because Clause:
Include a brief passage (a couple of sentences or even a paragraph) that supports your implied WARRANT (reason or assumption that is used to change an enthymeme to a complete argument.
Warrant:
Support that thesis using evidence from (1) personal experience, (2) observations, (3) interviews, or (4) data from a brief questionnaire or survey. Most of the paper will be your GROUNDS (support for your enthymeme) that comes from TWO of these sources.
Include hard copies of your evidence from documented observations, interviews and questionnaire/survey.

*The microtheme is different from other arguments as it does not incorporate research from databases or others’ research.

A successful microtheme should do the following:

  • include a very brief, 1-2 sentence introduction which presents the argument of the paper and sets up its organizational plan
  • include clear supporting paragraphs which state the supporting point of the paragraph, give specific textual evidence to support the claim made, and relate the evidence back to the thesis with thoughtful explanation
  • demonstrate a strong understanding of the argument and data used to support the argument--clearly show use of the basic elements of Toulmin-the enthymeme, grounds, warrant, and backing
  • avoid wordiness, and express its argument in no more than 350 words (apx. 1 ½ pages, typed and double-spaced)
  • be free of grammatical and other surface mistakes (i.e. spelling errors)









OR (from Runyon)

1. Write a one- or two-paragraph argument in which you support one of the following enthymemes using evidence from personal experience, observation, interviews, or data from a brief questionnaire or survey.
a. Most of your microtheme should be devoted to use of personal experience to support the stated reason.
b. However, also include a brief passage supporting the implied warrant for your chosen enthymeme.
c. The opening sentence of your microtheme should be the enthymeme itself, which serves as the thesis statement for your argument.
d. Because the assignment is to support the stated reason using personal experience, do not use information from the library or Internet research.
e. Typically, good college-level paragraphs range from 50 to 250 words; therefore, a good average is 150 words per paragraph, and since the assignment is to write a one- or two-paragraph argument, the paper should be at least 250 words but not exceed 300 words.
2. Enthymemes
a. Reading fashion magazines can be detrimental to teenage girls because reading such magazines can produce an unhealthy focus on beauty.
b. Surfing the Web might harm students’ studying because it causes them to waste time.
c. Children should have hobbies because, among other things, hobbies fill up leisure time with enjoyable activity.
d. High school students should participate in extra-curricular activities (clubs, sports) because doing so helps them develop socially and physically.
e. After-school jobs are beneficial for teenagers because they teach time management.
f. Summer internships in a field of interest, even without pay, are the best use of students’ summer school break because they speed up education and training for a career.
g. Any enthymeme (a claim with a because clause) that can be supported without library or Internet research.
3. Clear the enthymeme with the instructor before drafting the microtheme.
In reference to the OCTC "Expression of Ideas Framework," this is a Level-2 Written Expression assignment: Expression at this level is one or two paragraphs in length and expresses a complete thought or supports a position, often in response to a question. The paragraphs include an introduction, elaboration, and conclusion. Complete sentences are required, and correct grammar and spelling should be exhibited. Also, please observe the cautionary note that to avoid using the second person ("you") in academic assignments.