Distinguishing good arguments from bad ones can be challenging because arguments are not always neatly packaged in ways that are easy to understand. Analyzing an argument involves
identifying the premises and the conclusion,
thinking objectively about the evidence, and
determining if the conclusion logically follows from the evidence provided.
A good argument is based on sound reasoning; it contains evidence that is relevant, reliable, and sufficient to support the conclusion. It also addresses possible counterarguments and does not contain any logical fallacies (fallacies are covered in the next module). In contrast, a bad argument may rely on faulty reasoning, use unreliable or irrelevant evidence, and/or contain logical fallacies. It may also fail to address counterarguments.
This video demonstrates how sound reasoning works when analyzing an argument. It is interactive, so respond to the questions to check your understanding.
You cannot skip ahead, but you can watch at 1.5 times the speed and rewind in ten-second intervals , if needed.