AP/MODR 1770 6.0
Sample Argumentation Test - KEY
Part A: Short Answers (25 marks)
If there is a fallacy that occurs in each short passage below, name it. If there is no fallacy,
write: “no fallacy” (2 marks each). No explanation is necessary.
1. The teachers are on strike because they contend that they should be getting a pay raise during
this bargaining period with their employer, the school board. But (there are many people in this
world who don’t even have jobs, let alone the luxury of a pay increase!) (They get by on handouts,
and what little they can earn through random labor jobs.) The school board should deny the
teachers a raise.
2. Obama has visions of a socialist healthcare system. Well, as far as I’m concerned, such
healthcare reform in the United States will not work; their (healthcare system can’t be ﬁxed.)
Begging the Question
3. Some employers argue that they have the right to monitor their employees’ internet usage. I
completely disagree. (Why would employers be allowed to spy on the private lives of their
employees and learn everything about them?)
4. I don’t see why you get so upset about my driving after I have a few drinks. It’s not that big a
deal. (Look at all the accidents that are caused by people talking on their cell phones while driving.)
- 1 - Name: ________________________
5. Battersby’s article, titled “Critical Thinking in a Life and Death Situation,” argues that a liberal arts
education can produce a “competent layperson.” A) What does Battersby mean by the term
“competent layperson”? B) Connect at least two theories or concepts learned in the course thus far
that aid a “competent layperson.” Be sure to brieﬂy explain these connections. Then, C)
demonstrate the role of a competent layperson by applying it to an alternative life situation than
Battersby’s (5 marks).
- A) competent layperson is an individual who can address areas of knowledge/practice that are
outside his/her expertise.
- B) overconﬁdence Effect - helps one realize his/her own limitations, allowing for open-
mindedness when in argumentation
- acceptability Condition - gives an arguer the ability to independently assess reasons made or
- C) e.g. going to the mechanic, as discussed in lecture
NB: Answers to this question will vary. The above answer is just a suggestion. C needs to be
6. In class we discussed different ways that overconﬁdence effect plays a role in our lives. List and
brieﬂy explain 3 different contexts where the overconﬁdence effect is obvious (3 marks).
- writing a test - believing you’re prepared to do well on a test, only to ﬁnd out you didn’t study
pertinent material and can’t complete the test
- driving skills - thinking that you are a good driver, and that everyone else on the road is
- morality - believing that you have a strong moral code, and would make the most ethical decisions
in a given situation, better than others around you
- all of these demonstrate a skewed view of ourselves, an unwarranted, and inﬂated, view
7. The following is a dialogue between father and son. Articulate the father’s position with reference
to Bias, Argument Principles, and Conﬂict Styles (i.e. the “birds”). If there is illegitimate bias,
articulate how. If a principle is obviously followed or violated, discuss this. Reference a style of
communicating argument that helps articulate the father’s perspective (6 marks).
“Have a good time. I want you home by ten o’clock.”
“Ten? Come on, Dad, the party will barely be getting started. Can’t I stay until midnight?”
“I want you home by ten.”
“At least eleven? Everyone else will still be there.”
“You’re coming home at ten.”
“I’ll do extra chores tomorrow. Anything.”
“Dad . . . .”
- 2 - Name: ________________________
- Conﬂict of interest is present, as the father has something to gain (peace of mind regarding his
son’s whereabouts) at the expense of his son (social time with friends). The father is also guilty of
slanting by omission - by repeating the time over and over, he doesn’t expand, or explain, his
- In this case, the father presents as a woodpecker. He insists on his son being home at 10 pm. He
doesn’t appear to listen to his son, simply repeating his point. The dialogue starts and ends with
the father’s insistence that his son be home at 10 pm. Fair argumentation dialogues would at
least require the father to explain the curfew (not necessarily change it).
Part B - Diagramming and Evaluating Arguments (25 marks)
9. Choose one of the following two arguments and diagram it (3 marks).
- [A sign on a public bench] You just proved Bench Advertising Works.
- All registered nurses are medical professionals, so all registered nurses are kind to others.
HP: You read the advertisement on the bench.
MC: Bench advertising works. ↓