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Argument Basics Argument consists of premise and conclusion. What is argument? Reasoning has premises with conclusions. What are the premise and the conclusion in the cartoon on education? Premise and Conclusion The premise is that it is hard for kids to fit in at school.

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Argument Basics

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Argument basics l.jpg

Argument Basics

Argument consists of premise and conclusion.


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What is argument?

  • Reasoning has premises with conclusions.

  • What are the premise and the conclusion in the cartoon on education?


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Premise and Conclusion

  • The premise is that it is hard for kids to fit in at school.

  • The conclusion is that a game like musical chairs only makes it harder to fit in.


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Argument = Premise Conclusion

  • Is it funny that a college graduate has become a cook?

  • In the cartoon, what are the premise and the conclusion?


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Argument = Premise Conclusion

  • Premise: Graduates get good jobs.

  • Premise: Fine arts majors don’t.

  • Conclusion: At college, don’t take the Fine arts major.


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Authors may not statethe premises.

  • Sometimes authors state their case without providing a stated premise.

    • For example, a professor may tell a student: “You can pass this course easily.”

    • What is the professor’s unstated premise?

    • The student already knows everything.

    • The professor will pass the student no matter how well the student scores.

    • The professor believes that the student is able to learn enough to pass the course.


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Authors don’t always give their reasons.

  • If a professor states: “You can pass this course easily.”

    The unstated premise is probably that

    • The student already knows everything.

    • The professor will pass the student no matter how well the student scores.

    • The professor believes that the student is able to learn enough to pass the course.


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What are dependent premises?

  • Dependent premises need help to support the conclusion.

  • Minnie says that she shot Mickey because she couldn’t stand his voice anymore.

  • Will the police accept her premise as enough?

  • Or will they ask her to present more reasons for having shot Mickey?


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What are independent premises?

  • Independent premises don’t need another premise to provide support for a conclusion.

  • Which are the independent premises here?

  • Can there be more than one independent premise?

    • Science is based on experiment,

    • on a willingness to challenge old dogma,

    • on an openness to see the universe as it is.

    • Accordingly, science can require courage.


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There can be more than one independent premise.

  • Independent premises don’t need another premise to provide support for a conclusion.

  • The independent premises here are

    • Science is based on experiment,

    • on a willingness to challenge old dogma,

    • on an openness to see the universe as it is.

    • Accordingly, science can require courage.

Does it take courage

to experiment and change

how we see things?


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Premises have lead-ins.

  • What are the lead-in words that indicate premises?

    • Since apples taste good, I’ll eat one now.

    • For your future, you must study today.

    • In view of your many traffic tickets, your driver’s license has been suspended.

    • Because of paying attention, you have learned to write good essays.


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Premises have lead-ins.

  • The lead-in words that indicate premises or reasons are

    • Since apples taste good, I’ll eat one now.

    • For your future, you must study today.

    • In view of your many traffic tickets, your driver’s license has been suspended.

    • Because of your paying attention, you have learned to write good essays.


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Premises may be irrelevant.

  • Is it relevant to tell the judge that you were speeding because you were insane?

  • Won’t he find the premise irrelevant?


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Stated and Unstated Conclusions

  • Why did the policeman stop the driver?

  • What is the driver’s reaction?

  • Is the policeman’s conclusion stated or unstated?


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Controversial Conclusions

  • Are the findings of all medical studies correct?

  • Do you believe that life is bad for you?

  • Is the conclusion especially controversial?


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Conclusions may have lead-ins.

  • Why does the boy want the man to tell about himself?

  • Which keyword does the boy use to introduce his conclusion?


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Conclusions Repeat Words

  • What is the girl doing?

  • To whom is she complaining?

  • Which word introduces the change in her prayer?


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Premises must tie to conclusions.

  • What does the bum want?

  • Is he just too optimistic?

  • Which conclusion makes more sense?


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When the premise mismatches the conclusion.

  • Why is Billy getting only

    half paid?

  • Will he trust his dad anymore?

  • In conclusion, should he demand a written contract?


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Can you match the vocabulary?

__1. Ed’s vacation time will __ with his wife's time off.

__2. The test results deviated so clearly from the __ that the teacher decided not to use them.

__3. The __ results of her research were disappointing, but later findings were promising.

__4. Jorge found the __ of that computer program to be rather confusing.

__5. No __ from the rules will be allowed during the exam.

Unit 4: Lesson 3

  • coincide-happen together

  • deviation-change

  • format-layout

  • norm-rule

  • preliminary-beginning


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Can you match the vocabulary?

A 1. Ed’s vacation time will __ with his wife's time off.

D 2. The test results deviated so clearly from the __ that the teacher decided not to use them.

E 3. The __ results of her research were disappointing, but later findings were promising.

C 4. Jorge found the __ of that computer program to be rather confusing.

B 5. No __ from the rules will be allowed during the exam.

Unit 4: Lesson 3

  • Coincide

  • Deviation

  • Format

  • Norm

  • Preliminary


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