Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Understanding and Recognizing Arguments Part 2 of 3

You will learn how to identify premises and conclusions. Right now we are not EVALUATING arguments. We are simply breaking them apart so you can identify what you must evaluate and use to think for yourself. Then, you can do the opposite and persuade with unmatched skill. LATER ON you'll learn how to make your 'reason why' so strong and potent, it's unfair. As always, BE. ETHICAL.

In some cases (not all) premises and conclusions are identified with 'indicator words'.
Premise Indicators indicate that premises are being offered.
Conclusion Indicators indicate that conclusions are being offered.

Some common premise indicators include:
seeing that
given that
considering that
as indicated by
that being the case
judging from
inasmuch as
in view of the fact that

'Having fun can be the spice of life but not it's main course because when it is over, nothing of lasting value remains.'

'Since copywriting requires reliable information, it's important to be able to distinguish good sources from less useful ones.'

'Women are not to blame when they reject the rules of life, which have been introduced into the world, seeing that it is men who have made them without their consent'

'To know that God exists in a general and confused way is implanted in us by nature, inasmuch as God is man's beatitude.'

'I think that, as copywriting is so vital to success, it is required of a man that he should study it no less than 5 hours a day.'

Here are some conclusion indicators:
it follows that
for this reason
which shows that
implies that
this suggests that
that is why
as a result
this being so

'You want people to be honest, so be honest with them'

'Sorrow is a state of mind. Hence whether or not you feel sad over something is all in the mind.'
'Copywriting is the only skill on earth that can make you a million dollars a day, and that is why we must study it 15 hours a day.'

It's, again, important to consider context when determining meaning of expressions since the examples below, the italicized words do not function as indicator words.
I haven't seen you since high school
It was so cold out the ski resort closed
I wouldn't mind seeing that movie again.

Many arguments contain no indicator words at all. So how do we find the conclusion of an argument that
contains no indicator words?

Here are some hints:
* Find the main issue and ask yourself what position the reader or speaker is taking on that issue
* Look at the beginning or end of the passage; the conclusion is sometimes in one of those places
* Ask yourself, "What si the writer trying to prove?" That will be the conclusion
* Try putting the word therefor before one of the statements. If it fits, that statement may be the conclusion.
* Try the "because trick". That is, try to find the most appropriate way to fill in the blanks in the following statement: The writer or speaker believes _________ (conclusion) because _________ (premise). The conclusion will naturally come before the word because.

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