The Nature of Arguments
Critical thinking makes use of arguments. In this week’s lesson, you gained an overview of what arguments are and what it means for something to be a good or bad argument. In your week one assignment, you will be writing a five paragraph essay in which you explain and illustrate the nature of the critical thinking process.

Paragraph one should answer the following questions:

· What is an argument?

· What are some indicators of an argument?

· What is an example of an argument?

Your example does not have to be detailed. It can be a single sentence or two. It can be informal – there’s no need to make a premise-by-premise argument. Make sure your argument contains a rational inference, otherwise it isn’t an argument.

Paragraph two should explain the meaning of cogent reasoning. In this paragraph, be sure to reference the three criteria for cogent reasoning.

Paragraph three should explain the difference between deductive valid and inductively strong arguments.

Paragraph four should explain the role of background beliefs, worldviews, and philosophies to the critical thinking process. Be sure to give examples of what some background beliefs might be.

Finally, in paragraph five, write about a time in which you used a rational argument to persuade someone. What was the argument about? What evidence did you utilize in order to make your case?

Your completed assignment should be written primarily in first person and should be 500-750 words in length. If you use sources in your writing, be sure to identify them. If you use any direct language from a source, be sure to place those words in quotation marks.

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