Hello, everyone!

It’s Nick from Debate Academy and today, we’re going to learn how to make a complete argument and the three essential building blocks that make up all arguments.

Knowing these will allow you to make complete arguments and attack flaws in your opponent’s arguments to win debates!

We engage in arguments all the time w/ friends, teachers, parents, but what are they exactly?

An argument is a reason or set of reasons that persuade someone of your point.

The first building block that makes up an argument is the claim–a claim is the general assertion that requires evidence

The second building block is the evidence–evidence is backing to support your claim. Possible types of evidence include data, statistics, expert, and historical examples.

The third building block is the warrant–the warrant explains how the evidence backs up the claim.

Now that you know the basic definitions, let’s look at some examples.

Example 1:

Claim: Dogs are better than cats.

Evidence: Dogs are generally more friendly

Warrant: Friendly pets build meaningful relationships

Example 2:

Claim: Subway is a better restaurant than McDonalds.

Evidence: the Subway menu includes fresh vegetables and quality food.

Warrant: healthy restaurants are better because you will live longer if you eat healthy

Just to recap: the claim is the assertion, the evidence is backing, and the warrant explains how the evidence supports the claim.

That’s all for this lesson. Congratulation on taking the next step to become a successful policy debater. I’ll see you in the next episode.


  1. Read the following passage about cell phone use in school.
  2. Quote lines from the passage making at least three arguments.
  3. After practicing, make sure to compare your answers to ours.

“School systems in the United States face a challenge pertaining to the regulation of cell phone use by students in schools. There are drawbacks and benefits for cell phone use. School administrators, teachers, parents, and students continue to struggle with policies on cell phone use in schools since a complete ban is no longer universally accepted as best policy.

Recent research has revealed that texting (in class, in meetings, at dinner) has become a significant problem in the United States. A recent university study found that 90% of college students surveyed admitted texting during class. Some even admitted sending messages during tests. This rampant abuse has led some professors to ban phones during tests and/or during all classes. One professor informed students that if he even saw a phone during a test, the owner would receive an automatic zero, whether the phone was in use or not.

Severe penalties like the zero on the test go beyond the classroom. The number of incidents caused by drivers texting is constantly rising, prompting some states to pass strict laws outlawing the practice. California and Kentucky as well as other states impose fines if a driver is caught texting while driving. Even drivers themselves have reported texters they have observed on the road.

Cell phones have definitely become fixtures in present-day life for most people. Phones continue to be upgraded with extraordinary technology that makes them even more attractive and engaging. With their widespread use, this debate will continue. There are people who believe that students should be taught about proper cell phone etiquette and personal responsibility for their use of the phones and are opposed to banning them. Others see no other alternative but to support a complete ban of cell phones in the schools.

Check your answers!

Power Point

Here is a power point that defines claim, evidence, and warrant. It includes more examples for you to practice.

Start the quiz by clicking below.