Friday, September 3, 2010

Descriptive and Prescriptive Claims

Descriptive Claim simply states the explanation of the given subject. For example, when a student says, “The United States is recently experiencing an economic crisis; because of this, schools are the first ones that are very much affected by the budget cuts.” The example is just simply saying what is currently happening to the economic crisis in the United States, and how it is affecting the education system of the country, which makes it a Descriptive Claim, without saying what should be done like the Prescriptive Claim.

On the other hand, Prescriptive Claim suggests what someone should do, or what is appropriate to do to solve the problem for the good/better/best of the situation. For example, when a student says, “So that schools would not suffer under the budget cuts that are currently happening in the United States, the government should prioritize education and not choose to cut budget on that area the most.” The statement given exercises Value Judgment as well in comparison to a moral claim, showing what should be done to better the situation.


  1. I also wrote a post about descriptive and prescriptive claims. The example you used for descriptive claims was a perfect example because it was clearly a "what is" claim and it does not say what should be. I liked that you used a current event as an example. The example is very true and all students know that. The example you used for prescriptive claims was also a solid example. I agree with you that schools should not suffer as much due to the budget cuts. The example you used definitely exercises value judgement. All in all this was a clear post with great examples.

  2. I like your example of the budget cuts on schools. This has been a topic of interest to me for a few years and I always have a lot to say about it. Both of these sentences are good examples of the difference between descriptive and prescriptive claims. Even after writing my post about the these claims I was still able to better understand the difference from how you described it.