Thinking Critically: Getting Your Arms around Arguments

Individuals who want to develop or refine their critical thinking skills


Expected Duration
31 minutes

The word ‘argument’ can mean a spat between people, or a lawyer’s statement in court. In the field of critical thinking, an argument – like an assumption – is an expected part of the process of reaching a logical, well-thought-out conclusion and outcome. You and others regularly make arguments – because you want to make a point, or move an issue forward. An argument typically has a rationale and a conclusive statement, both deserving of exploration and questioning. When you say or hear words such as ‘this is because’ or ‘so, therefore’ – you’re usually making or facing an argument. In this course, you’ll learn to identify arguments, recognize persuasion techniques, explore arguments for accuracy and logic, and marshal arguments of your own.


Investigating Arguments

  • distinguish statements that express arguments from those that do not
  • evaluate the accuracy and logic of an argument
  • evaluate an argument for potential bias and techniques of persuasion
  • choose the best argument to support a conclusion
  • make good arguments





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