The purpose of this study is to examine the argumentative properties of John P. Clark’s testimony before the House Judiciary Committee on November 16, 2011, in steadfast support of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), and the open letter to the United States Congress signed by a group of eighty three Internet inventors, innovators, and key figures sent on December 15, 2011, in which they argued against the SOPA and other bills. This study uses qualitative analysis in the form of Toulminian analysis, a type of rhetorical criticism. This study aims to raise awareness about immensely important issues that will affect most Americans and the majority of the world, as much of the world’s inhabitants are Internet users. This study ultimately finds the argumentation of Clark to be superior to that of the open letter. This study also brings to light many serious worldly issues such as Internet piracy, counterfeit medication, and Internet regulation.


Boser, Beth


Communication Studies




Toulmin, Internet regulation, SOPA, PIPA

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2014 David Quigley