A statement essentially arguable, but used as a primary point to support or prove an argument is called a claim. If somebody gives an argument to support his position, it is called “making a claim.” Different reasons are usually presented to prove why a certain point should be accepted as logical. A general model is given below to explain the steps followed in making a claim:
In this model, the symbol and the dots before it signify that the number of premises used for proving an argument may vary. The word “therefore” shows that the conclusion will be restating the main argument, which was being supported all the way through.
With the help of a claim, one can express a particular stance on an issue that is controversial, so as to verify it as a logically sound idea. In case of a complex idea, it is always wise to start by classifying the statements you are about to put forward. Many times, the claims you make stay unnoticed because of the complex sentence structure; specifically, where the claims and their grounds are intertwined. However, a rhetorical performance, such as a speech or an essay, is typically made up of a single central claim, and most of the content contains several supporting arguments for that central claim.
Types of Claim
There are many types of claim used in literature, and all of them have their own significance. The type that we will be discussing here has great importance in writing and reading about literature because it is used frequently to build arguments. It is called evaluative claim.
Evaluative claims involve the assessment or judgment of the ideas in the original piece. They have been divided further into two types: ethical judgment and aesthetic judgment. As the name implies, aesthetic judgment revolves around deciding whether or not a piece of writing fulfills artistic standards.
You can easily find evaluative claim examples in book reviews. This type is about assessing an argument, or the entire essay on ethical, social, political, and philosophical grounds, and determining whether an idea is wise, good, commendable, and valid. The evaluative and interpretive claims typically consist of well-versed viewpoints. Where interpretive claims strive to explain or clarify the views communicated in and by the text, evaluative claims study the validity of those views by drawing comparison between them and the writer’s own opinions.
Example #1: Animal Farm (By George Orwell)
The great thing about Animal Farm by George Orwell is that it has presented all animals equal in the eyes of the laws framed by them. They framed Ten Commandments when they expelled Mr. Jones from Manor Farm, and this rule, “All animals are equal,” became a shibboleth for them.
This interpretive claim presents an argument about the exploration of the meanings, and the evidence that is given within quotation marks has been interpreted as well.
Similarly, “To be or not to be…” is an evidence of the excessive thinking of Prince Hamlet in the play Hamlet, written by William Shakespeare. If a person interprets the play, he has evidence to support his claim. Papers on literary analysis are treasure troves of examples of claim.
Example #2: Animal Farm (By George Orwell)
As the majority of the animals were in the process of framing rules, it was understood that, although rats and several other animals were not present, whatsoever had four legs is an animal, and therefore is equal to any other animal. Hence, a general rule was framed that whatever walks on four legs is good. Later on, birds (having two wings and two legs) and other non-four-legged animals were also considered as animals. Therefore, all are equal.
Now this argument clearly shows the judgment given at the end, but it is after evaluation of the whole situation presented in the novel. This is called evaluative claim.
Function of Claim
The role of claims in writing any narrative or script is essential. If used correctly, they can strengthen the argument of your standpoint. The distinction between different types of claim can be highly confusing, and sometimes complicated. For instance, a composition that claims that Vogel’s play gives out a socially and ethically impolite message about abuse, can also assert that the play is aesthetically flawed. A composition that goes on developing and advocating an interpretive claim about another script shows that it at least deserves philosophical or aesthetical interpretation. On the other hand, developing an evaluative claim about a composition always remains in need of a certain level of interpretation.
Hence, the dissimilarities are subtle, and can only be identified after close and profound observation; but all things considered, they are important. Thus, lest it is suggested you do otherwise, you must always leave the evaluative claims for conclusions, and make your essay an interpretive claim.