Critical Thinking For Leaders

Analyzing Arguments Template
 
Example: Does violence on television have a negative influence on children’s behavior? (Replace with your chosen topic)
 
1. (Fill this in only after completing steps #2 – #8): State your conclusion.
(Be sure that the conclusion follows from your reasons.)
 
2. List at least three reasons that support your conclusion.
a)
b)
c)
 
3. Rate each reason as weak, moderate, strong, or very strong.
Rating for a):
Rating for b):
Rating for c):
 
4. List at least three counterarguments that weaken your conclusion. Rate how much each counterargument weakens the conclusion: little, moderate, much, or very much.
a)
Rating for a):
b)
Rating for b):
c)
Rating for c):
 
5. List any qualifiers (limitations on the reasons for or against – for example, some evidence may be restricted to early childhood).
 
6. List any assumptions you made.
 
7. Are your reasons and counterarguments directly related to your conclusion?
 
8. What is the overall strength of your argument: weak, moderate, strong, or very strong? (Complete #1 above.)
 
Now that you have completed this template, rate the overall strength of your argument. Did your position on the argument change as a result of your analysis? Why or why not? What have you learned from this analysis?