Digital thinking tools for better decision making
Digital thinking tools for better decision making

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Digital thinking tools for better decision making

4.1 The recipe: first and second step

The recipe starts at level 0 where you find the main claim.

First step: Identify the main claim. First, try to find the main claim. The main claim is the overall point or conclusion that the author of the text is making. The text presents information that directly or indirectly supports or opposes the main claim. The main claim can be explicit or implicit:

  • If the main claim is explicit, one or more of the statements in the text put this claim forward.
  • If it is implicit, you will need to infer the main claim that the author is trying to get across. Once you have inferred the implicit claim, state it in your own words.

Once you have identified the statement(s) that make the main claim, or you’ve stated the implicit main claim in your own words, you can start the argument map. Place the main claim in the top level oval, as shown in Figure 12.

The main claim at level 0 (the top level)
Figure 12 The main claim at level 0 (the top level)

Now, proceed to the next level. Since you started at level 0, the next level is level 1.

Second step: Find text supporting and/or opposing the claim(s) found at the previous level. Now, you need to find parts of the text that directly oppose or support the claim at the previous level. Read the text from the beginning to the end. For each statement, ask yourself the question ‘Does it support or oppose the claim at the previous level?’ Add these claims to your map and connect them, using the oppose or support relationship, to a claim at the previous level.


Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371