Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Modelling mathematical argumentation: the importance of qualification

Inglis, M.; Mejia-Ramos, J.P.; Simpson, A.


M. Inglis

J.P. Mejia-Ramos


In recent years several mathematics education researchers have attempted to analyse students’ arguments using a restricted form of Toulmin’s [The Uses of Argument, Cambridge University Press, UK, 1958] argumentation scheme. In this paper we report data from task-based interviews conducted with highly talented postgraduate mathematics students, and argue that a superior categorisation of genuine mathematical argumentation is provided by the use of Toulmin’s full scheme. In particular, we suggest that modal qualifiers play an important and previously unrecognised role in mathematical argumentation, and that one of the goals of instruction should be to develop students’ abilities to appropriately match up warrant-types with modal qualifiers.


Inglis, M., Mejia-Ramos, J., & Simpson, A. (2007). Modelling mathematical argumentation: the importance of qualification. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 66(1), 3-21.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Sep 1, 2007
Deposit Date Jan 21, 2008
Journal Educational Studies in Mathematics
Print ISSN 0013-1954
Electronic ISSN 1573-0816
Publisher Springer
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 66
Issue 1
Pages 3-21
Keywords Argumentation, Informal logic, Number theory, Proof, Reasoning, Toulmin.