Critical Thinking Questions For Reading

The first three will help us understand the structure of an argument.

The last two will help us further evaluate the quality of the argument.

Descriptive issues raise questions about the accuracy of descriptions of the past, present, or future. “Weak reasons create weak reasoning.”Keep in mind that a conclusion without any reasons is not an argument — it’s merely an opinion, a baseless assertion. If the reasons provided to support a conclusion are weak, you can reject the conclusion on that basis.

You should be able to find the issue, conclusion, and reasons explicitly in a communicator’s message.

A persuasive message is making an argument which attempts to convince us to believe certain things or act in certain ways.

The argument’s goal is to convince us to believe a particular conclusion.Some examples of value assumptions that the author makes in the article: If both of these descriptive assumptions are true, then the conclusion follows from the reason given.However, you could challenge these assumptions and disagree with the conclusion, unless better reasons are provided.We begin by first understanding the structure of the argument; then we can further evaluate the argument to decide whether to support the conclusion. So for any persuasive message you encounter, whether a written document or a speech, you can ask the five questions above to perform your critical analysis.To understand the structure of the argument, the key questions are: From here, we can further evaluate the quality of the argument:4. As I mentioned above, this post will only cover the first three questions. In order to evaluate someone’s argument, you first need to understand it.For instance, an author may value privacy over security, and thus may argue against state surveillance.Value assumptions are what cause two perfectly intelligent people to look at the same information and arrive at completely different conclusions (for or against abortion rights; for or against gun control).Critical thinking is important because we’re constantly inundated with messages seeking to persuade us.The quality of reasoning that supports these messages can vary significantly.The questions are as follows: We discussed the first three questions in this post, focusing on understanding and evaluating the structure of the argument.Every persuasive argument is composed of a conclusion and supporting reasons.


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