EG1413 Lecture 2 - Critical Thinking & Writing Lecture...

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Unformatted text preview: Critical Thinking & Writing Lecture 2 : Argument Structure by Dr Radhika Jaidev Ø Identifying an argument Ø Understanding key terms pertinent to argument analysis in this course Ø A 4-step argument analysis Outline of lecture Critical Thinking & Let’s begin by examining a simple universal context for disagreement: Young Person: Bye. See you later Parent: Wait! What time are you coming home? YP: We’ve discussed this before. I’ll be back around 2am. P: I don’t remember discussing it. Anyway, you’re not staying out till 2 in the morning. Be home by midnight! (At this point what we have is a quarrel not an argument - many claims or assertions and no reasons or justification!) Now here’s a twist: What you saw was the YP beginning to justify his/her claim but it’s still not good enough. It doesn’t explain why 16 is a good age to display one’s ability to take care of oneself. Now let’s continue ... YP: But I’m 16 years old! P: So? YP: Unless you give me a chance, how can I ever prove that I can take care of myself and not get into trouble? (Is there a hidden assumption here??) Yes, the assumption is that- it is good to give young You may have observed the following in this simple domestic ‘argument’: 1 claims or assertions have to backed by reasons. 2 reasons need to be clarified and strengthened with YP: If you let me stay out till 2 on a trial basis, I will have the opportunity to prove to you that I’m mature and that you can trust me. A. The Government should make the wearing of helmets mandatory for all cyclists. In order to help cyclists appreciate the importance of wearing helmets, they should be educated on road safety awareness. B. The Government should make the wearing of helmets mandatory for all cyclists. In Australia where such a law is in place, the risk of head injuries for cyclists has been reduced significantly. C. I don’t wear a helmet when I cycle as it’s not Now let’s take a look at some written texts. Are these arguments? Critical Thinking & Understanding key terms pertinent to this course • Issue • Claim • Premise (s) • Conclusion • Reasons • Assumptions Critical Thinking & What is an issue? It is any topic of concern or controversy. (Cooper & Patton, 2004) When trying to identify the issue in a text that you are critiquing, think “whether”; e.g. The author deals with the issue whether universities should put a cap on fee increases....
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This note was uploaded on 02/25/2011 for the course EG 1413 taught by Professor Prof during the Spring '11 term at National University of Singapore.

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EG1413 Lecture 2 - Critical Thinking & Writing Lecture...

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