OCR Critical Thinking, Unit 1

brief, last minute notes

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Language of Reasoning 1

An argument has a conclusion and a reason.

Conclusions (C)

  • A Conclusion is a view the arguer wants to persuade you of.
  • It is normally near the beginning or end.
  • There are indicator words such as : Therefore, so, hence, thus etc.

Reasons (R)

  • A Reason backs up the conclusion.
  • Can be Sound/Unsound
  • There are Indicator words such as : Since, as, because
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Language of Reasoning 2

A Claim is an argument without a reason.

A Counter Argument (CA) is an Argument that does not support the main conclusion.

A Counter Claim/Assertion (CC) is a claim that does not support the main conclusion.


  • A general statement normally about how people ought to behave or how thing ought to be.
  • Can be sound/unsound.

Hypothetical Reasoning is a prediction based on circumstances in the form If... Then...

Assumptions are not explicitly stated, often taken for granted and my or may not be sound.

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Evaluating Evidence

Samples Consider:

  • Size
  • time
  • location
  • age
  • gender
  • ethnicity
  • social class

Is the evidence ambiguous?


how is the data collected? Is it controlled? Are people honest? Did they have time to consider?

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C ontext

R eputation

A bility to percieve / see

V ested interest (What they get out of it)

E xpertise

N eutral

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Copy out reasons, arguments etc Word for Word

Try to avoid elipses (...)

As you read the text annotate reason, conclusions, evidence, examples etc.

Underline key points, names etc ... you may be asked to refere to these and it makes it easier to find them.

If you don't know, come back to it later.

If you still don't know, guess.

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Lucy Woodcock


I'm probably being a little thick but what do you mean by sound or unsound?

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