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Strategies and Techniques for Strong and Weak Argument Questions

Logical Reasoning for Law Entrances

Analysing strong and weak arguments is a crucial skill that plays a pivotal role in various competitive exams, including law entrance tests. These questions assess your ability to critically evaluate the validity and persuasiveness of given arguments. 

In this guide, we will provide you with effective strategies and techniques to confidently solve questions on strong and weak arguments.

Understanding the Basics

Before delving into strategies, let’s establish a clear understanding of strong and weak arguments:

Strong Argument: A strong argument is one where the conclusion is well-supported by the provided evidence or premises. The connection between the premise and the conclusion is strong and logical.

Weak Argument: A weak argument is one that lacks sufficient or relevant evidence to convincingly support the conclusion. The connection between the premise and the conclusion is vague, tenuous or flawed.

Strategies for Solving Strong and Weak Argument Questions

Read Carefully: Thoroughly read the argument and the premise provided. Pay attention to the relationship between the premise and the conclusion.

Identify the Premise and Conclusion: Clearly identify the premise (evidence) and the conclusion (main point) of the argument. This step is crucial for understanding the logical structure.

Relevance Check: Assess the relevance of the premise to the conclusion. Does the premise directly support the conclusion or is there a gap in the logical connection?

Evidence Evaluation: Analyse the strength and quality of the evidence presented in the premise. Is the evidence strong and credible enough to support the conclusion?

Assumption Identification: Look for any unstated assumptions that are necessary for the argument to hold. Assumptions bridge gaps between the premise and the conclusion.

Counterargument Consideration: Think about potential counterarguments or alternative interpretations that could weaken the argument. A strong argument should be able to withstand such challenges.

Check for Extreme Language: Be cautious of conclusions that use absolute terms like “always,” “never,” or “everyone.” These may indicate weaker arguments.

Logical Coherence: Assess the logical flow of the argument. Does the conclusion logically follow from the given premise or is there a disconnect?

Evidence Quantity: Evaluate whether the argument provides sufficient evidence to convincingly support the conclusion. A stronger argument typically presents more robust evidence.

Practice with Examples

Let’s apply these strategies to a couple of examples:

Example 1:

Argument: “All successful entrepreneurs have a strong work ethic. Since Mark is a successful entrepreneur, he must have a strong work ethic.”

Strategy Application:

  • Premise: Successful entrepreneurs have a strong work ethic.
  • Conclusion: Mark, a successful entrepreneur, has a strong work ethic.

Evaluation:

  • The premise and conclusion have a clear and relevant connection.
  • The argument assumes that Mark follows the pattern of successful entrepreneurs.

Example 2:

Argument: “People who exercise regularly are healthier. Therefore, Sarah, who exercises every day, is healthier than Jack.”

Strategy Application:

  • Premise: People who exercise regularly are healthier.
  • Conclusion: Sarah, who exercises every day, is healthier than Jack.

Evaluation:

  • The premise and conclusion have a clear connection.
  • The argument assumes that exercising every day ensures a higher level of health than others who exercise regularly.

Conclusion

Solving strong and weak argument questions requires a combination of careful analysis, critical thinking and logical reasoning. 


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