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Assessing and Developing Argument

Assessing and Developing Argument Lesson Objectives 1) To understand the structure of an argument. 2) To be able to recognise 1) Argument Indicators 2) Reason Indicators 3) Conclusion Indicators 4) Intermediate Conclusions

Assessing and Developing Argument

Starter: Answer the following question:

Starter (2) • What is effective about David Starkeys’ argument? • List all the things he DOES WELL. •

Assessing and Developing Argument Four million new born babies die around the world each year, 99% of them in poor countries. A major barrier to progress in helping these babies has been the widespread belief that expensive ‘high tech’ solutions are needed to bring down death rates. But this belief is wrong. Recent research shows that just $1 per baby would save 90% of the babies who die at birth in poor countries. The solutions needed have been shown to be as simple as keeping babies warm after birth and providing common antibiotics. Which of the following is the best statement of the main conclusion of the above argument? A) B) C) D)

The solution to the problem of new born deaths in poor countries is far less expensive than previously believed. There are major barriers to reducing the numbers of new born babies who die in poor countries. The solutions to reducing the number of deaths amongst new born babies in poor countries are simple. We can easily afford the solutions to the problems of high death rates amongst new born babies in poor countries.


What is an Argument? Argument = Reason(s) + Conclusion An argument contains a reason or reasons and a conclusion. The conclusion often comes before the reason(s). A Conclusion tries to persuade you.

Arguments = Reason(s) + Conclusion • Sweets are bad for your health therefore you should not eat sweets. • What is the reason in the argument above? • What is the conclusion?

Arguments – identify the reason and the conclusion Don’t trust David Cameron, he’s a politician. We must trust David Cameron, he’s the Prime Minister. It is raining outside so if you go out you will get wet. Because today is Tuesday tomorrow will be Wednesday.

More complicated arguments • Swine flu can be passed from human to human. Swine flu is passed more efficiently in crowds. Football matches have crowds of people. Therefore we should not attend football matches.

• How many reasons are there? • What is the conclusion?

Demonstration Reasons & Conclusions Conclusions try to persuade you. Write down 5 conclusions. • e.g. ‘You should watch East Enders’.

Now write down a reason to go with each conclusion. • e.g. ‘Watching soap operas makes you feel better about yourself’.

Tie each pair of sentences together with a conclusion indicator word. • You now have 5 arguments

Review/Evaluate • What have you learnt? • Now watch the clip again. Summarise what he does well.. •

critical thinking