Section 1 Notes

Hopefully this should help. Section 1 of the UNIT1 OCR critical thinking exam. Everything you need to know about arguments, elements of arguments, reasoning, claims etc. :)

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Farrah Desai, Critical Thinking, Section 1
Elements of an argument
A statement the writer wants accepted on the basis of her reasons
Aims to persuade the reader to accept a conclusion
A statement/judgement which can be challenged has no reasons to support it.
Can be turned in to an argument once reasons are added
Argument Indicators
Indicating reasons
Because, as, such, due to, such as
Indicating a conclusion
Therefore, so, thus, follows that, consequently, should

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Farrah Desai, Critical Thinking, Section 1
Counter Argument
Counter Assertion
Counter Argument or Counter assertion indicators
Although, despite this, however, it has been said/suggested, contrary to this, on the other
hand, some may argue.
Hypothetical Reasoning
A statement or judgement that can be challenged.
A fact
An opinion
A statement of a principle
Reasons and conclusions are claims.
A claim in the form `if this...then that...'
It predicts what will happen if something else happens.…read more

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Farrah Desai, Critical Thinking, Section 1
Simple hypothetical Reasoning
Looks at the consequences that might occur if something were the case.
A missing reason in an argument.
The writer accepts it without stating it
Essential for the conclusion to be drawn
Acts as the unstated reason
Formulating assumptions
The `reverse' test
Working out the exact opposite of the assumption you have formulated and seeing how
that relates to the argument.…read more

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Farrah Desai, Critical Thinking, Section 1
Something which is used as evidence because it is characteristic of the same kind of things
or because it can serve to illustrate a principle. They provide good support for the
Numerical and statistical data as evidence
Surveys or research data
Methods of collecting research data:-
Taking measurements
Asking questions through questionnaires
Problems with evidence based on surveys and sampling
Biased writers. They might interpret, or use selectively, the outcomes of
research.…read more

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Farrah Desai, Critical Thinking, Section 1
Where was it conducted
Are examples typical and relevant
Are research finding clear-cut or ambiguous?
Is it from a reputable source, an expert, authoritative, without a motive to mislead?
Sometimes statistics can mislead without the motive to do so.
Analysing and evaluating reasoning
Analysing the structure of longer arguments
1. First things first: finding the conclusion and the reasons that support it
Once finding the conclusion, you should look for reasons to support it.
2.…read more

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Farrah Desai, Critical Thinking, Section 1
4. Identifying hypothetical reasoning and counter-argument in longer arguments
If the `if' is followed by a `then', hypothetical reasoning is present
Some argument indicators lead in to the writer's point of view. Some lead in
to a counter assertion or counter argument that is being dismissed.
5.…read more


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