Writing Program at New College
Claim: A claim is an assertion of truth, a statement writers want an audience to accept. Some are simple, and some are complex. When writers use reasoning and evidence, they usually do so to support main claims, what high school and university students are often taught to approach as thesis statements. Some claims will be readily accepted, for example, the claim that a university education increases graduates’ chances of future success. Others, however, will not be as readily accepted. For example, it will be difficult to convince an audience of classical music enthusiasts that Parliament Funkadelic is the greatest musical group of all times. Like all other elements of rhetorical practice, claims—strategies for making them and their likely success—are fundamentally tied to audience and the overall rhetorical situation.
Some claims are implied rather than stated explicitly. For example, many claims are implied in the advice not to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The assertion that impaired driving is dangerous is so strongly implied that it need not be stated outright. Can you think of other implied claims?