'Not Quite Right': Helping Students to Make Better Arguments

Teaching in Higher Education 13 (3):327-340 (2008)

Authors
W. Martin Davies
University of Melbourne
Abstract
This paper looks at the need for a better understanding of the impediments to critical thinking in relation to graduate student work. The paper argues that a distinction is needed between two vectors that influence student writing: (1) the word-level–sentence-level vector; and (2) the grammar–inferencing vector. It is suggested that much of the work being done to assist students is only done on the first vector. This paper suggests a combination of explicit use of deductive syllogistic inferences and computer-aided argument mapping is needed. A methodology is suggested for tackling assignments that require students to ‘make an argument’. It is argued that what lecturers understand tacitly, now needs to be made a focus of deliberate educational practices.
Keywords critical thinking  Informal logic  argumentation
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References found in this work BETA

Fundamentals of Critical Argumentation.Douglas Walton - 2005 - Cambridge University Press.
An "Infusion" Approach to Critical Thinking: Moore on the Critical Thinking Debate.Martin Davies - 2006 - Higher Education Research and Development 25 (2):179-193.
Critical Thinking and Education.Anthony Flew & John E. McPeck - 1982 - British Journal of Educational Studies 30 (3):352.
Introduction to Logic.Alfons Borgers & Irving M. Copi - 1961 - Journal of Symbolic Logic 35 (1):166.

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How to Do Things with Logic.C. Grant Luckhardt - 1994 - L. Erlbaum Associates.

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