STAR Exercise for Claims Analysis

  • Claim (topic sentence): The topic sentence is the last sentence in the example. It asserts: Many people, especially retirees, don’t have the know-how, or the resources to use the internet. It is the topic sentence because it encompasses the claims previously made.
  • Sufficiency: In the first sentences of the paragraph, the writer provides three examples of how his claim is true which equals a sufficient number of examples.
  • Typicality: Two of the examples are broadly worded and seem typical of the world as people living in the United States have experienced it. The third statement is applied specifically but is also widely recognized as being typical of the age group.
  • Accuracy: It seems reasonably safe to assume that the first two claims are accurate and they are relatively easy to check. The third example is directly related to the author, so we have to presume he is telling the truth, but there is no way of verifying this as fact.
  • Relevance: The first example is not relevant because it doesn’t directly address why many people can’t use the internet. The second example is relevant because it addresses why people might not have the resources to use the internet. The third example is relevant because it addresses how one person doesn’t have the know-how to use the internet.
  • Conclusion: The claim is not strong because one of the proofs is not relevant and one is too specific. Recommendations for improving the paragraph are in italics below:

Advancements in computer technology seem to discriminate against the poor who cannot afford the new services. Without access to the new technology, the poor cannot learn the skills they need to successfully utilize the powers of the internet. Older people, frustrated with the difficulty of learning the new gadgetry they struggle to afford, also have difficulty using the internet. Many people, especially retirees, don’t have the know-how, or the resources to use the internet.

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  • Claim (topic sentence): The topic sentence is the third sentence in the example. It claims that by using certain things such as humor, animals and appealing to your sense of need, or a combination of these things, they [advertisers] try to achieve their purpose [to sell a product].
  • Sufficiency: There is not enough evidence to justify the claim. There are no examples of how advertisements use humor, animals, or appealing to a sense of need. Instead, there are vague rewordings of the same basic idea that advertisements use techniques to try to sell a product.
  • Typicality: Since there is no real offered evidence, there is no means of judging typicality.
  • Accuracy: Again, since there are no real proofs being offered, there is nothing to judge regarding accuracy.
  • Relevance: The statements offered as support for the claim have no relevance to it and serve instead to confuse the issue.
  • Conclusion: The claim is very weak because there is no proof offered to support it. Recommendations for improving the paragraph are in italics below:

By using certain things such as humor, animals, and appealing to your sense of need, advertisements try to coerce a target audience into buying their product. Humorous appeals include the advertisements featuring the E-Trade baby. An example of animal appeals includes the Geico gecko. The State Farm insurance commercials in which the spokesman walks you through an accident occurring is a very obvious appeal to a sense of need.

  • Claim (topic sentence): The topic sentence is a question and must be turned into a statement before the STAR test can be applied. The topic sentence is the first sentence of the paragraph. Converted to a statement, it would claim that although a clone will look exactly like its mother, it is unlikely that the resultant entity would be exactly like its mother.
  • Sufficiency: There are two supported proofs offered to support this claim while a question regarding the internal character of the individual attempts to stand as a third proof. There is not sufficient proof for this claim.
  • Typicality: The evidence offered in the first proof is very broad in its application. The second proof offered uses outside sources to prove the near-identical genetic match shared between all men.
  • Accuracy: The accuracy of the claim being made must be questioned because it is known that while a cloned individual will look exactly like its mother genetically, it may not look exactly like its mother physically. The first proof offered is a widely known psychological fact that is also supported by outside sources, making it stronger. The second proof is again supported by outside sources, yet the claim is so strong that it compels one to seek verification.
  • Relevance: There is a broad relevance between the first suggested proof in that it is scientifically well-known that the environment plays a role in the shaping of an individual character. There is also a great deal of relevance between the second proof and the claim, but this is not made clear within the paragraph.
  • Conclusion: The paragraph is unsuccessful in that a claim cannot be introduced in the form of a question. While the strength of its supported proofs lends it some strength, these proofs are insufficient and incompletely related to the claim. Recommendations for improving the paragraph are in italics below:

Although a clone will look exactly like its mother genetically, it is unlikely that the resultant entity would be exactly like its mother. There is a great deal of evidence that suggests the environment plays a significant role in the shaping of an individual character (Wright 2). Needless to say, the environment experienced by the mother would be impossible to duplicate in any true sense to attempt to introduce an exact duplicate. To illustrate the degree of difference that can be introduced from an identical gene structure, it is illuminating to realize that “the average male anywhere on the globe is 99.9% accurate copy [of any other male]” (Wright 2).

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