The Science Of Scientific Writing    Set 4     Set 4-Locating arguments in proseExample Exercise 1Exercise 2Exercise 3Exercise 4Exercise 5Final page Set 4.

Course Home

OVERVIEW: The way to well-written science

How to do the Course


PART I: Paragraphs and Sentences

SET A: Paragraphs: The Maps Behind Them

SET B: Paragraphs: Using Maps to Meet Readers' Expectations

SET C: Paragraphs with Something Extra: Points and Tails

SET D: The Generic Section: Expectations and Maps as Blueprints

SET E: Scientific Sections: The Methods and Results

SET F: Scientific Sections: The Discussion

SET G : Scientific Sections: The Introduction

SET H : Sentences

SET I : The Paper as a Whole



PART II: The Paper and its Sections


SET 1: Argument Parts

SET 2: Indicator Words

SET 3: Refining Claims

SET 4: Locating Arguments in Prose

SET 5: Rationale's Essay Planner

SET 6: Evidence in Arguments: Basis Boxes

SET 7: Assessing

SET 8: More on Assessing

SET 9: Analysis Maps

SET 10: Assessing Again

Synthesis 1: Position-Early Paragraphs

Synthesis 2: Position-Final Paragraphs

Synthesis 3: Writing a Discussion I

Synthesis 4: Writing a Discussion II


Exercise 2


1. Make a Rationale Reasoning map representing the argument in the following text:

People should cycle to work since it saves money. We know this because there is no petrol cost for bicycles. Cycling to work would reduce pollution, for it reduces the number of cars on the road.

Drag and drop sections of the above text onto the workspace to proceed.  This works with any version of Rationale.


  • Look for indicator words that reveal whether claims are positions, reasons, or objections
  • Refine all your claims
  • Text won't always have indicators to provide clues: in the absence of indicators you'll need to work out the argument's logical structure by thinking about which claims give support to, or undermine, other claims, and which claim expresses the position (the main point at stake)
  • To work out which level a claim belongs at ask yourself: does this reason offer direct support for the position, or does it offer support for some other reason?

2. Check your work against the model.




Content of this page drawn in whole or part from the Austhink Rationale Exercises with permission from Austhink.