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Critical thinking revision
Unit F504: Critical Reasoning

In addition to identifying elements of reasoning encountered in previous Units you should also be able to recognise,
identify and describe:
Assumptions: something that is accepted as true or as certain to happen, without proof
Valid arguments: a reasonable or cogent argument

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8 Analysis
1 Analysis of the Street Porter passage:
a This is scene setting. It provides the background evidence for the writer's contention
that there is an overweight problem that must be tackled.
b This is an analogy. It serves as a reason for the conclusion `Bring back rationing' by…

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`Now we've got more money and allegedly a higher standard of living' (R1), `but no
sense of when to stop eating' (R2), acting as joint reasons.
Obesity is a problem just for the poor because they can afford only fattening foods --
anticipated counter-argument.
`And don't tell me it's about…

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9 Evaluation
1 Here is a suggested response covering many of the points that could be made,
though it is unlikely that many candidates would be able to write so much in the time
Street-Porter's article makes use of emotional appeals, but nevertheless she sometimes
backs up her points…

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Street-Porter makes an assumption that somewhat weakens her argument. She
assumes that because as many as a third of 11-year-olds are overweight, this must
affect `all incomes and classes', but this is not necessarily the case. If the problem is
concentrated in the bottom third of the population with respect…

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title, university background and the scholarly title of his article, gives more impression
of expertise.
Gard moves on to acknowledge the counter-argument (`While there are some that say
we are about to see life expectancies nose dive'), creating the impression of objectivity,
before referring to what appears to be his…

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Overall this is more convincing than Street-Porter's argument. Gard supports his points
more logically, without any of the sweeping generalisations and confusion about possible
solutions to overweight that undermine Street-Porter's. There are points where more
evidence would help to support his case, but the greater willingness to acknowledge other

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10 Writing your own argument
(Don't forget to question phrases in the question!!!)
An argument supporting the conclusion that giving the public free choice of lifestyle
is harmful:
It has become fashionable to criticise the `nanny state', arguing that it is unnecessary
to tell members of the public how to…


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