The Science Of Scientific Writing    Set 1     Set 1-Argument Parts : Second Page : Third Page :Fourth Page :Example : Exercise 1 : Exercise 2 : Exercise 3 : Exercise 4 : Exercise 5 : Final Page - Set 1.

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OVERVIEW: The way to well-written science

How to do the Course


PART I: Paragraphs and Sentences...

SET 1: The Parts of Arguments

SET 2: Indicator Words

SET 3: Refining Claims

SET 4: Locating Arguments in Prose

SET 5: Rationale's Essay Planner

SET 6: Assessing

SET 7 : More on Assessing


We can use reasoning maps to show how reasons, objections, and rebuttals fit together in relation to some position.

Consider this train of thought:

Maybe I should go to the beach... I'd enjoy myself if I went.  On the other hand I'm supposed to be at school today.  I really enjoy swimming though...

People often think and talk this way, but the structure of their reasoning isn't very clear when we look at it in written form.  The piece of reasoning in the box above is fairly short and simple, but imagine how hard it would be to follow if it were ten times longer!

An argument map makes the structure much more clear:

Below is a more typically scientific argument with exactly the same architecture:

One of the pleasing features of an argument map is that whether we agree or disagree with the points being made, at least we know with complete clarity each component's intended role. We can see at a glance how each component fits into the larger pattern of reasoning. The burden of navigating a complex argument has been greatly reduced. Later, one of our major goals for a written argument will be to reduce its navigational burden. As a scientist, convincing your audience of your point is not actually as important as convincing them that you are an intelligent, diligent and trustworthy investigator. In this regard, nothing influences the impression you make more than your arguing style.

In the sets to follow you'll be learning how to show the structure of reasoning using Rationale.  We'll build your skills step by step, until you're creating your own maps with confidence.


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