MODR 1770B Passage Analysis Cheat Sheet
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Step 3: Create the conceptual questions using the two concepts previously founded in Step 2. Make sure that the
conceptual questions answer the master conclusion.
Step 4: You need to create an-argument like structure with 2-3 premises drawn out of the passage, a hidden
premise that isn’t specifically mentioned but assumed or implied by the author (what is not stated, but is
assumed in the passage – do not forget to state where it comes from), and the conclusion from step 1. This part
must look like a formal argument structure; i.e. P1, P2, P3, HP, and MC.
Step 6: Module 2 (14) 6.1 Focuses on whether the concepts used in Step 2 are clearly defined. This means the
semantic definition itself, not how it is used. For 6.1, provide 2 pieces of evidence (directly from the text), two
characteristics (paraphrase definition), and then give a rationale of why the concepts are good or bad. You have
to be fair – if the author is consistent in definition then its properly defined. It he has too many assumptions than
we can say no. 6.2 focuses on whether a concept is too wide or too narrow. This section deals specifically with the
usage of the concept in the context. Too wide refers to the author including too many characteristics, and
therefore assuming several things about the concept that may not fit to that context. Too narrow refers to the
author purposefully omitting characteristics about the concept as a means of purposefully tricking the reader into
believing the author’s arguments and conclusion. 6.3 focuses on equivocation between certain concepts – this is
referred to the sense that a concept shifts its meaning. Once you identify how the concepts shift their meaning
you must apply the substitution method in which you specifically replace the concept with a newfound concept.
For example, if you have “nature” used several times, and in one definition it refers to the “universe” and the
other “human personality”, you must replace them. In your rationale and analysis of this mention how there are
“used terms that are unclear, vague, and unacceptable to warrant merits of the conclusion. Make sure to use
premise form in which the premises are the specific uses of the concept and the conclusion is the decision of
whether or not this concept has caused equivocation. Section 6.4 deals with the positive critique of arguments.
You have to pull out two specific concepts (strong ones) and positively critique them in the sense that they were
defined properly, using a reasonable amount of characteristics, with a lack of equivocation. When doing this
provide evidence of how the concept was properly defined, how it wasn’t too narrow or too wide, and provide
two arguments for how the concept was used consistently throughout the entire passage. Afterwards, give a
rationale of why you think the specific concept is strong. Make a small negative critique of the concept insofar as
comparing to a potential concept that would have made the passage even better.
Step 7: Model 8 (153). This is the step in which you do a final map of the arguments evaluation in determining
whether the author’s argument itself is good. In order to do this, you must cut down the passage into several
sections (sections may consist of several paragraphs). In 7.1 select the paragraph that best supports the author’s
main conclusion. Break down that section into P1, P2, P3, HP, and a MINOR C. Select one of the premises (not the
HP), and evaluate it for whether the premise contains generalizations, keywords that are too vague or open to
doubt, or any inclination that would change the structure of the conclusion and render it weak. This is referred to
as the CPP (Conceptually Problematic Premise). For 7.2, you need to know that the three type of criterion are
Relevancy (irrelevancy), Acceptability (ambiguity), and Sufficiency (presumption). Chose one of the criteria that
is violated in the paragraphs through the premises, give the evidence of how you know that this specific criteria is
violated as well as a rationale. Example, “An argument that commits the fallacy of bifurcation violated the
sufficiency criterion – it states that one who presents reasons for an argument must be sufficient in number,
weight, and kind. Therefore, the author uses bifurcation, which only gives two extremes, thereby violating the
sufficiency criterion of a good argument.” For 7.3 you must find two specific fallacies used in the paragraph of the
passage and provide specific evidence of where it is committed, as well as the rationale behind why you think the
argument commits a fallacy. Finally, for 7.4 you look at an argument, which you believe is properly laid out in the
sense that it arrives at a proper conclusion, it does not commit any fallacies, the minor conclusion supports the
major conclusion, and there are no conceptually wrong violations in the argument.
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