Analyzing and evaluating arguments

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  • 1. Analyzing and Evaluating Arguments
  • 2.  The critical reader must be able to evaluate arguments. When you evaluate an argument (a set of claims), you determine its value or persuasiveness. To be able to do a good job evaluating arguments, you need to know what an argument is and how an argument is put together.
  • 3.  An argument is a claim that is supported by reasons or evidence.  When an author tries to persuade the reader that something is true or correct by presenting supporting reasons or evidence, an argument is being made.  This means that an argument is different from a statement.
  • 4. Persuasion The author is trying to convince the reader that a claim is true by giving supporting reasons or evidence.
  • 5. The Claim  The claim of an argument is the point of the argument.  When an author makes an argument,it’s the claim that the author is trying to persuade the reader to accept as true.
  • 6. Analysis To evaluate an argument, you need to analyze it.  When you analyze an argument, you break it down into its parts and examine them by themselves and in relation to the other parts of the argument.
  • 7. Argument. First, identify the argument’s claim. What is the conclusion the author is trying to persuade the reader to accept as true? What is the point of the argument?
  • 8. Step 2 for Analyzing an Argument Identify the reason or evidence the author gives for support. Claim Evidence Evidence Evidence 1 2 3
  • 9. Step 3 for Analyzing an Argument Think critically and skeptically about the reasons or evidence that the argument presents. What is the source of the evidence? Is the evidence true? Do the reasons or evidence defeat or weaken the argument?
  • 10. Step 4 for Analyzing an Argument Ask yourself how well the reasons or evidence support the claim. If the evidence is weak or false, then the argument will be less persuasive or even invalid. If the evidence is poor, the argument will be less persuasive or even invalid.