Types of Claims

Claims usually fall into one of three types:

  1. Claims of fact
  2. Claims of value
  3. Claims of policy

Claims of Fact

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A claim of fact makes an assertion about something that can be proved or disproved with factual evidence. However, keep in mind the basic quality of claims, that they have to be debatable, and offer an assertion about an issue. So a claim of fact for a logical argument cannot simply consist of a statistic or proven fact. It needs, instead, to focus on an assertion which uses facts to back it up, but for which the evidence might still be debatable.

Inappropriate claim of fact – a statistic or fact that is not debatable:

“the month of March 2017 was 1.03°C (1.9°F) above the 20th century average—this marked the first time the monthly temperature departure from average surpassed 1.0°C (1.8°F) in the absence of an El Niño episode in the tropical Pacific Ocean.” (from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Adminstration, NOAA, https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/201713 )

Appropriate claim of fact – makes a claim that is debatable using factual evidence

Decreasing carbon dioxide emissions from car exhaust, manufacturing processes, fertilizers, and landfills, while slowing deforestation, may help slow the process of global warming.

Claims of Value

decorative imageA claim of value argues that something is good or bad, or that one thing is better than another thing.

Sample claims of value:

It’s better to apply good nutritional choices at home than teach them at school, because good nutrition then becomes ingrained in the child’s experience.

Although immunotherapy has produced some good results in fighting cancer, overall it is less effective than chemotherapy.

Claims of Policy

decorative imageA claim of policy argues that certain conditions should exist, or that something should or should not be done, in order to solve a problem.

Sample claims of policy:

The city’s board of education should institute an honors program not only for high school students, but for elementary and junior high school students as well.

Just as smoking ads have been banned in order to decrease the urge to engage in an unhealthy behavior, soda ads should be banned for the same reason.

No matter the type of claim, you will usually combine many types of support for that claim in order to write a logical argument, including facts, case studies, reasons, personal interviews, and more, as appropriate.

Try It

To strengthen your understanding of types of claims, take this nine question self-test. See if you can identify which type of claim the statement is making, then check the answer.

  1. Vaping can lead to increased blood pressure, lung disease, and insulin resistance.

  2. The basic keys to success are perseverance and discipline.

  3. Studies have shown that exposure to violent media is a risk factor for violent behaviors.

  4. The Career Support Network is an excellent resource for people who are considering a mid-life career change.

  5. In order to insure that graduates are competitive for top jobs in their fields, the college must put additional resources into its career services office and internship programs.

  6. Although the International Astronomical Union announced that Pluto is not actually a planet, experts disagree on what characteristics define a planet.

  7. Increased investments in solar power will benefit national security by reducing dependence on fossil fuels.

  8. Parents should not only be aware of how their children are using social media, but also understand the potential positive and negative impacts of social media use.

  9. Advances in computer modeling have made it possible to create completely new types of architectural structures.