Building a Better Argument. Author: Joe Miller.

Critical Thinking
Whether it’s an ad for burger chains, the closing scene of a “Law & Order” spin-off, a discussion with the parents about your social life or a coach disputing a close call, arguments are an inescapable part of our lives. In this lesson, students will learn to create good arguments by getting a handle on the basic structure. The lesson will provide useful tips for picking out premises and conclusions and for analyzing the effectiveness of arguments.

Standards & Objectives

Academic standards
CLE 3002.5.4
Analyze the logical features of an argument.
CLE 3002.5.6
Analyze deductive and inductive arguments.
CLE 3003.5.3
Evaluate an argument, considering false premises, logical fallacies, and quality of evidence presented.
CLE 3003.5.4
Analyze the logical features of an argument.
CLE 3003.5.6
Analyze deductive and inductive arguments.
CLE 3005.5.3
Evaluate an argument, considering false premises, logical fallacies, and quality of evidence presented.
CLE 3005.5.4
Analyze the logical features of an argument.
CLE 3005.5.6
Analyze deductive and inductive arguments.
GLE 0406.4.2
Understand and use measures of length, area, capacity, and weight.
GLE 0406.4.3
Solve problems that involve estimating and measuring length, area, capacity and weight.
 
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Learning objectives: 

In this lesson, students will:

  • Discover the basic terminology of arguments.
  • Learn strategies for reliably distinguishing between premises and conclusions.
  • Explore the differences between arguments and explanations.

Lesson Variations

Blooms taxonomy level: 
Understanding

Helpful Hints

Materials:

  • Monty Python, “The Argument Clinic”
  • Student Handout #1, Finding Premises and Conclusions
  • Student Handout #2, Argument Examples
  • Teacher Handout #1, Argument Examples

References

Contributors: