An introduction to the logical structure of arguments

WonderHowTo In this tutorial video, you will learn the basic structure for a good argumentative essay. The narrator in this tutorial, makes a very important distinction in the video; a good argument versus an average or mediocre argument. The narrator teaches you that a good argument will have, at minimum, a 5-part structure. The elements in the structure include an introduction, a body, and a conclusion.

An introduction to the logical structure of arguments

How do you know if you should trust the expert? The following argument is based upon research published in a peer-reviewed medical journal. The author has an extensive background in public health including a medical degree and doctorate in medicine.

The vaccination coverage required to establish herd immunity against influenza viruses. Judging from what we know about credible sources, we can feel confident using the following the following argument in our own research even though it is based upon inductive premises.

Inthe influenza vaccination rate among adults was not sufficient for herd immunity. The source is highly credible in part because it is written by an expert for experts. That fact may make a source a challenging read for ordinary readers. It is a medical study based on sufficient, representative, and relevant data that has been carefully analyzed by someone highly qualified in the field.

Depending on the nature of an assignment and whether a course is for majors or non-majors, you may be allowed to use some sources that report on studies rather than the original studies themselves.

An introduction to the logical structure of arguments

However, you should consult the primary sources whenever possible. Why should I evaluate unstated or suppressed premises as well as stated ones? Consider this highly unscientific poll conducted by a TV news station. Is she in fact out of touch at all?

This is actually a type of logical fallacy, begging the question, which will be covered in a later section. In fact, on more complex or serious issues it is often things people take for granted that may actually deserve the most critical scrutiny.

How does argument diagramming or outlining help to illuminate the structure of an argument? So the first order of business in analyzing an argument is to recognize what the main claim is—the conclusion—and what other claims are being used to support it—the premises, which is much easier to do when the arguer is explicit about the steps in the argument.

The arguer can make the steps clear by using premise and conclusion indicator terms as signposts. Below is a list of such terms. Using the indicator terms is particularly helpful because a conclusion may be stated first, last, or anywhere in between.

People do all three when they write or talk in real life, so we cannot tell whether a statement is a conclusion simply by where it is positioned in the argument. What is the purpose of diagramming or outlining an argument? First, the process helps you clearly see just what the other person is saying.

The following is a guest post* by Simon Cullen (Princeton), which continues an earlier discussion of his work teaching with argument mapping techniques and software. Visualizing The Logical Structure Of Arguments: A New Platform For Argument-Mapping by Simon Cullen Back in , I contributed to a post for Daily Nous about . INTRODUCTION TO ARGUMENT AND RHETORIC What is an argument? • Organize your argument in a logical, easy to follow manner. There are many patterns that might work—chronological, Toulmin, inductive, deductive, etc. A Guide to Writing and Reading Effective Arguments and The Little, Brown Handbook, Eighth Edition. Broad . This text is a beginner textbook for arguments and propositional logic. It covers the basics of identifying arguments, building arguments, and using basic logic to construct propositions and arguments.

It helps you identify the logical structure of the argument, which is necessary if you are to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the argument in order to know whether or not to accept it. What are the steps to diagramming or outlining an argument?

Here are the basic moves that are required in order to create a clear diagram or outline of an argument. Identify all the claims made by the author.

How to Write a good argumentative essay: logical structure « Humanities :: WonderHowTo

Since a sentence can contain multiple claims, rewrite statements so that you have one claim per sentence. Adopt some sort of numbering or labeling system for the claims—your instructor may have one that she wishes you to follow.

Identify which statements are premises and which statement is the main conclusion. Recognize that there may be sub-conclusions in addition to a final or main conclusion.

How To Write a Logical Essay in Four Steps | Streams of Consciousness

You may think of a sub-conclusion as the end point of a sub-argument nested inside the larger argument. Although the sub-conclusion is itself the conclusion of a nested argument, supported by premises, it also functions as a premise supporting the final or main conclusion.

Recognize that some premises are independent and others linked. If you were drawing or mapping the argument, you would be able to draw an arrow from an independent premise directly to the conclusion it supports.

Linked premises, however, are multiple statements that must be combined to provide support for a conclusion. If you were drawing or mapping the argument, you would have to find some way to show that the linked premises as a group support the conclusion. An author must organize her material to guide the audience through her argument.

One tool available to an author is the paragraph.How To Write a Logical Essay in Four Steps By Mark Vecchio This tool is nothing more than an essay template; not a five-paragraph “Baker’s” essay, but a college/grad-school short essay structure based on fundamental principles of logic.

An introduction to the logical structure of arguments

II. So the chief concern of logic is the structure of an argument. A. Every argument in logic has a structure, and every argument can be described in terms of this structure. 1. Argument: any group of propositions of which one is . In this logic the validity of deductive arguments depends only on the logical structure of the sentences involved.

This development in deductive logic spurred some logicians to attempt to apply a similar approach to inductive reasoning. Successfully structuring an essay means attending to a reader's logic. The focus of such an essay predicts its structure. It dictates the information readers need to know and the order in which they need to receive it.

Thus your essay's structure is necessarily unique to the main claim you're making. Knowing logical reasoning is all-important—half of your score on the LSAT will be determined by how well you can solve logical reasoning questions. To that end, we have built what we guarantee the most in-depth resource available for teaching theRead More Introduction To Logical Reasoning; LR Question Structure; Arguments Are .

The Logical Structure of Arguments. *and often signals the introduction of a further premise, It helps you identify the logical structure of the argument, which is necessary if you are to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the argument in order to know whether or not to accept it.

How to Write a good argumentative essay: logical structure « Humanities :: WonderHowTo