Before you develop your argument, you need to decide what warrants to build it on. For your warrants to be persuasive, your reader needs not only to understand them but also to accept them. The most effective warrants—bridge warrants—are ones that readers already believe. These shared warrants don’t need further support from reasons and evidence: that’s what makes a warrant different from a claim.
If you don’t know whether your readers share the warrants that support your argument, do not just guess what they might believe—find it out by asking someone who knows. This could be your instructor, a member of the group you are writing for, or another professional in the field. If it turns out that you are basing your argument on warrants that your readers won’t accept, you need to think about whether the principles your readers do accept will allow them to also accept your claim. If not, you may need to reframe your argument.
Before you write, ask yourself the following questions:
If you can’t answer yes to most or all of these questions, you should probably consult someone who is more familiar with your group of readers.