Critical Thinking & Argument Basics and Deductive Arguments Worksheet

Part 1: Argument Basics

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  1. How does a person identify the conclusion of an argument? Answer in 8-12 sentences, with two direct quotes from the course text by Matthew Van Cleave. Quotes go in quotation marks with the in-text citation (Van Cleave, 2016, p. ___). (10 points)
  2. My favorite animal is the red panda, so let’s consider a passage about these beautiful creatures:Red pandas are live in the Himalayas, and these mountains are in Asia. Hence, red pandas live in Asia.Is this an argument? Why or why not? If so, what is the conclusion? (10 points)
  3. Here is a more complicated passage. This is a complex argument with premises, two distinct intermediate conclusions, and a main conclusion:Red pandas should be the official animal of Valentine’s Day. One reason is that red pandas match the color scheme of Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s Day is associated with red, and red pandas are red. A second reason is that red panda items could be popular Valentine’s Day gifts. People often give teddy bears for Valentine’s Day, and stuffed red panda would be similar to this.What is the main conclusion? What are the two intermediate conclusions? Explain how you identified these claims as the main and intermediate conclusions. (10 points)

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4. Now compose the following arguments about your favorite animal. (10 points each)

  1. (a) An argument with just one premise and a conclusion.
  2. (b) An argument with two premises leading to an intermediate conclusion, which in turnleads to a main conclusion.

Part 2: Deductive Arguments

  1. What makes something a valid deductive argument? Can a valid argument have false premises? Why or why not? Answer in 8-12 sentences, with two direct quotes from the text by Van Cleave. Quotes go in quotation marks with the in-text citation (Van Cleave, 2016, p. ___). (10 points)
  2. Consider the following passage about a very cute animal:Every American family has a red panda as a pet. Since the Obamas are an American family, they must have a pet red panda.Is this a valid argument? Is it a sound argument? Explain the reasoning behind your answers. (10 points)
  3. Compose the following arguments about your favorite animal (10 points each):(a) A valid and sound deductive argument
    (b) A valid deductive argument with at least one false premise (c) An invalid deductive argumen
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