Capstone
Mr. Linton
DECONSTRUCTING AN ARGUMENT
Is this an argument, an explanation, a report, facts, opinions or a combination of these?
What does the author want to persuade us to accept? Has the author stated or only implied this
conclusion?
On what grounds, or for what reasons is the author trying to persuade us to accept this conclusion?
What else would you need to accept in order to accept the conclusion? (What unstated reasons are
there? What does the author believe but doesn’t actually say? What is the author keeping quiet about?)
What evidence does the author use to support their reasoning? (Note that reasoning is the structured
organization of the author’s own thoughts, and evidence is the information, facts, statistics and
references to others’ ideas that the author uses to support their own reasoning).
What additional evidence would be useful to make a judgment about this reasoning?
What sort of evidence/argument might weaken or counter this reasoning?
How strong/effective is the author’s reasoning? Does the conclusion follow from the reasons or is it too
strong? Are there any flaws that weaken the reasoning (if so, how much and how much does this
matter)? Is the evidence appropriate?
Does the author include counter argument (different views)? If so, how relevant are they? How well
has the author answered them?
So, overall, how much of this reasoning do you accept (based on earlier thinking)?
How useful is this reasoning to your research?
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Capstone Mr. Linton DECONSTRUCTING AN ARGUMENT Is this an