Critical Thinking-paper 1 revision notes

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An argument is when you are being persuaded to except something, it is not a difference in opinion
but a line of thinking that proves a theory or idea. There are two main parts to an argument, the
reasons and a conclusion, the more reasons the better
The conclusion sums up what you are being persuaded to except in one sentence. You must copy the
exact sentence in the exam to get full marks. To check your conclusion, put the conclusion first, add
because, add the reason and if this makes sense it is right. Indicator words are: so, therefore, in
conclusion, this means that, to conclude and so we can expect.
Intermediate conclusions sum up the reasons so far and can then be furthered to get the main
conclusion. Quote the exact sentence from the document.
Reasons are the elements that persuade the reader to believe and accept the conclusion. Quote the
exact reason when asked in question 2. Indicator words are: seeing that, as, because, given that, in
view of the fact that, it's obvious.
When asked to give a reason in a question, do not include any other elements in your answer. Do not
develop the point or give a conclusion and keep it simple.
Hypothetical reasoning is what predicts an outcome if a certain condition is met. They might be part
of a document or not in the document but obvious. To phrase an answer for a hypothetical reason
write: If this happens then something else will lead on from this.
A counter argument supports the opposing side and has all the elements of an argument. They are
done because it makes the other side look weak in comparison.
A counter assertion supports the other side the argument but does not contain all the elements of an
argument. Instead it is just a statement with no reasons backing it up.
A counter reason supports the counter conclusion and therefore goes against the argument so that
the opposing side looks weaker.
Dismissal ­ Showing that a counter argument is wrong or weaker that your argument
Evidence is used to develop, strengthen and support the reasoning. It can be in statistics, research,
surveys or calculations. To evaluate evidence you must consider the following. Relevance - but only
use this if the evidence is not relevant. Representative - this must be clearly linked to the example
and pick out and exaggerate key words. Significant - are the numbers big enough to add to the
weight of the reasoning. Conditions of the example ­ fine details about the research like is it
representative of different people. Expertise of the researcher. When was the research conducted?
Examples are used to develop, strengthen and support the reasoning. They refer to specific people,
organizations, events and circumstances or anything that has been named. To evaluate an example
you must consider if the person giving their story has expertise and if the example has been a special
circumstance so cannot be generalized.

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Assumptions are what we must assume for the argument to make sense. To check your assumption
add the reverse to the argument and if it doesn't make sense it is right. In an answer try to have
wording from the conclusion included in the assumption.
Conflation means using two different words like they have the same meaning, just because words
have similar meanings it doesn't mean that they are identical.…read more

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Good words to use in the exam are: persuade, sufficient, relevant, support, statement, strengthen,
weaken, develop, plausible, rational, logical, significant, illustrate, verified and justified.…read more


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