The Science Of Scientific Writing    Set 7     Set 7-AssessingSecond pageThird pageFourth pageExampleExercise 1Exercise 2Exercise 3Exercise 4Exercise 5Exercise 6Final Page Set 7.

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

Now we'll go one step further and evaluate both a reason and its basis box.

1. Drag this map onto your workspace and evaluate the basis box first, and then the reason (leave the  position as it is for now).

Drag this onto the workspace

Drag this image onto the workspace to proceed.  You must be using the inbuilt browser in Rationale 1.3 or later.


  • First evaluate the basis box: Is this a reliable source of information?  Ask yourself: 'for the purposes of everyday life, if I were James would I take this as true?' (it is too skeptical to ask: 'is there any chance at all that the doctor is wrong?')
  • Click on the basis box and go to the evaluate section of the ribbon and pick the icon that matches your assessment
  • Then evaluate the reason: what confidence do you have in it, given your assessment of its basis?
    • If you think the basis is reliable, ask yourself: does this reason give support for the position? How good a reason is it - strong or weak?
    • If you think the basis is a poor source of information ask yourself: could I still reasonably accept the reason on other grounds?  If the answer is no, then the reason can't provide any support for the position.
  • Make sure you've put evaluation icons in all boxes

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.