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Chapter 3

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SOCI 2P10 Chapter 3: What are the Reasons?  Reasons are beliefs, evidence, metaphors, analogies and other statements offered to support or justify a conclusion o They are statements that form the basis for creating the credibility of a conclusion  You cannot determine the worth of a conclusion until you identify the reasons  Reason + conclusion = argument  Reasons are explanations or rationales for why we should believe a particular conclusion  Several characteristics of arguments grab out attention: o They have intent. Those who provide arguments hope to convince us to believe certain things or to act in certain ways. They call for a reaction and we must respond somehow o Their quality varies. Critical thinking is required to determine the extent of quality in an argument o 2 essential visible components – a conclusion and reasons. Failure to identify either destroys the opportunity to evaluate the argument. We cannot evaluate what we cannot identify  Argument: consists of a conclusions and the reasons that allegedly support it Initiating the Questioning Process o Why? What does the writer or speaker believe that? Why does the writer/speaker believe that conclusions? o The statements that answer the questions are the reasons Kinds of Reasons o Evidence: specific information that someone uses to furnish proof for something she is trying to claim is true o Facts, research findings, examples from real life, statistics, appeals to experts and authorities, personal testimonials and analogies o When a speaker/writer is trying to support a descriptive conclusion, the answer to the why is usually the evidence o The conclusion needs to be supported by evidence Keeping the Reasons and Conclusions Straight  Try to develop your own organizing procedure for keeping the reasons and conclusions separate and in a logical pattern  Clues for identifying and organizing the reasoning of
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