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Argument diagrams display the structure of an argument. By combining pictures and words, argument diagrams help people to create better arguments and analyses. iLogos is a freely-available, cross-platform tool that allows you to easily construct and share argument diagrams.
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Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Email Mara Harrell: mharrell at cmu dot edu

Argument diagramming tools
There are hundreds of diagramming tools currently available. Tools vary primarily by the type of information they try to represent, and the tradeoff they make between expressiveness and usability (in Buckingham-Shum's words). Most of the tools below can, or are designed to, be used for argumentation or evidence-based reasoning. Toulmin-based argument diagramming tools are less expressive, (because they only represent arguments), but possibly more usable (because boxes and arrows are always interpreted in a specific way). Concept maps are more expressive (because they can represent anything, including arguments) but less usable (because the meaning of boxes and arrows are not consistent and have to be explicitly labeled). Other tools like ClaiMaker and Compendium are somewhere in-between--essentially concept maps but with limits on the types of meanings boxes and arrows can have.
Tool Description Representation Audience
Athena Argument mapper from Blekinge Institue of Technology and CERTEC, Sweden. Simplified Toulmin Education
ArgMAP Argument mapper Simplified Toulmin Research
ArguMed Argument mapper based on DEFLog DEFLog (Toulmin extension) Research
Argutect Argument mapping-like "thought-processor" from Knosis, Pittburgh. Thought tree (tree of questions and answers, can be used as simplified Toulmin) Productivity, Education
Araucaria Argument mapper from Univeristy of Dundee, UK. simplified Toulmin Education
Belvedere Collaborative concept mapper and evidence matrix originally developed by D. Suthers at LRDC, Pittsburgh, now at LILT, University of Hawai'i at Manoa. Inquiry / Evidence Maps and Matrices (links between claims and supporting data) Education
Causality Lab Allows students to solve social science problems by building hypotheses, collecting data and making causal inferences. Causal diagram and data charts Education
Carneades (.pdf) Toulmin based mathematical model for legal argumentation Toulmin Law
Concept mapping of knowledge claims from S. Buckingham Shum's Scholarly Ontologies Project, KMI, Open University, UK. Concept map with semiformal ontology for argumentation Research
Compendium IBIS mapping tool orginially developed by Verizon Reserach Labs and associated with CogNexus Institue and KMI, Open University. Dialogue map (concept map with ontology: nodes can represent issues, ideas, pro, con, and notes) Ill-structured problems
Convince Me Creates diagramatic representations of hypothesis and evidence Evidence map Education
Debatabase "Debatabase is the world's most useful resource for student debaters. Inside you will find arguments for and against hundreds of debating Topics, written by expert debaters, judges and coaches." Communal, simplified Toulmin Education
DebateMapper "currently offline" Toulmin (and more)
Debatepedia "Debatepedia is the new free wiki encyclopedia of arguments and debates" Communal, simplified Toulmin Civic
Explanation Constructor B. Sandoval's explanation template that encourages students to support their claims with evidence. Part of the BGuILE project at letus center, Chicago. Evidence map template (causal explanation prompts with links to data) Education
Genie Software toolkit for creating decision theoretic models from University of Pittsburgh. Bayesian networks Research
Media Matrix Allows students to collect audio and video references off the internet and annotate them for later use in writing Communal media annotation Education
Oyez Datbase of supreme course transcripts linked to audio. media annotation Law
Philoctopus Argument mapper Simplified Toulmin Research
QuestMap J. Conklin's IBIS predecessor to Compendium, from CogNexus, Napa, CA. Dialogue map (concept map with ontology: nodes can represent issues, ideas, pro, con, and notes) Ill-structured problems
Reason!Able (Research) van Gelder and Bulka's popular argument mapping software from University of Melbourne. Simplified Toulmin Education
Rationale The 2006 heir to Reason!Able argument mapping tool. Simplified Toulmin Commercial, Education
Structured Evidential Argumentation System Project of John Lowrance at SRI to help organize and conduct collaborative argumentation by "intelligence monitors" by looking for evidence on the web, or in news reports, to fill in argument structure. Communal explanation template linked to evidence supplied and gathered users. Intelligence, productivity
Sensemaker P. Bell's nested concept mapper for classroom debate. Part of the KIE project, University of Berkeley (see also WISE for the Java port). Concept map Education
Stella Commercial systems (stock and flow) diagramming tool. Stock and flow (causal) Commercial, Education
Theseus Heir to Argutect Thought tree (tree of questions and answers, can be used as simplified Toulmin) Education
Truth Mapper A collaborative argument mapping site Simplified Toulmin Social
Wigmore diagram (.pdf) A diagram language used for legal reasoning (described here the Araucaria folk and their translaion to Toulmin diagrams). Wigmore Law
SAIL / Pas
The latest incarnation of the original Sensemaker project with nested concept mapper for classroom debate. Concept map Education
Diagramming tools
General purpose diagramming tools do not limit the type of representation you can make, and can thus be used to create argument maps. Because they are general purpose tools, they do not necessarily provide any capabilities that would make it easier to represent arguments over other kinds of diagrams. Here are some popular/interesting tools.
Tool Description Representation Audience
Gliffy Diagramming plugin for Confluence wiki Diagram Productivity
Omnigraffle Diagramming tool for Mac OS Diagram Productivity
Visio Diagramming tool for Windows Diagram Social
Concept mapping tools
Concept mapping tools are generalized box and link diagramming tools where links can be labeled, and nodes can have mulitple links. Concept maps, are a more generalized representation than a Toulmin style argument maps, so while arguments can be represented in concept maps, concept maps do not necessisarily facilitate argument mapping. For an extenive list of concept mapping tools, see
Tool Description Representation Audience
CMap Tools Concept mapper from IHMC a university affiliated research institute in Florida. Concept map Education
Free mind Open-source concept mapping tool Concept map Productivity
Inspiration Commercial concept mapping tool from Inspritaion Software, Portland OR. Concept map Education
Mind mapping & Outliner tools
Mind maps usually take the form of hierarchical mind-maps where the links between nodes are unlabelled, i.e. a graphical, sometimes illustrated version of an outline. Because the links often don't have labels, mind maps are not often used to represent arguments. For a more extensive list of mind maps and outliners, see
Tool Description Representation Audience
Mind Manager Commercial concept mapper from Mind manager. Mind map Productivity
Mind map Commercial concept mapper from Buzan. Mind map Productivity
Omni Outliner Commercial outliner Outliner Productivity
Semantic Web
The following tools allow users to create notes, or peices of information with with specific fields (schema), and link notes to each other, or to notes created by other people. These applications are essentially concept maps that focus on the type of information inside the node, and sharing/connecting it with other's.
Tool Description Representation Audience
CSILE/Knowledge Forum Collaborative concept mapping environment invented by Scardamalia & Bereiter at OISE/University of Toronto. Communal notes with explanation templates Education
Haystack M.I.T. project Communal notes with user-defined schema Social, productivity
HiveLive from CMU's John Kembel Communal notes with user-defined schema Social, productivity