6 Evaluating an argument – coherence and supporting evidence
When you evaluate written material, you are aiming to form a judgement on the validity of the argument presented. You can do this by looking at (i) the coherence of the argument, and (ii) the supporting evidence. Here are some prompts that should help you to evaluate arguments.
The activity below should help to put what you have learned so far into perspective.
Activity 5 Evaluating an argument
Select a piece of written material (this could be a newspaper or magazine article), and evaluate any arguments that have been presented, in terms of the following:
- Coherence of the argument: identify when an argument is valid (i.e. that claims made adequately support the conclusions being drawn, and are justifiable).
- Supporting evidence: evaluate the evidence being presented, and to establish its worth (in its own right, and when compared with other evidence).
Whether you have chosen a newspaper article or peer reviewed journal article, we expect you to subject them to the same level of scrutiny or critique. The following table provides some pointers:
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We will explore this process in more depth in Session 4, using a journal article.