Recognizing arguments in this assignment, you will apply key

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Recognizing Arguments

In this assignment, you will apply key concepts covered in the module readings. You will identify the component parts of arguments and differentiate between various types of arguments such as inductive and deductive. You will then construct specific, original arguments.

There are two parts to the assignment. Complete both parts.

Part 1

1a: Identify Components of Arguments

Identify the component parts of the argument, premises and conclusion, for the following passages. Where applicable, highlight key words or phrases that identify a claim as a premise or a conclusion.


Refer to the following example:

“All men are mortal. Socrates is a man. Therefore, Socrates is mortal.”


All men are mortal.                                      Premise

Socrates is a man.                                      Premise

Therefore, Socrates is mortal.                     Conclusion

“Therefore” is a key word indicating the claim is the conclusion.


  1. Sue is pregnant and will give birth to one child. We know already this child has no genetic anomalies. If Sue’s baby is a boy, he will be named Mark. If Sue’s baby is a girl, she will be named Margaret. Sue will have either a boy or a girl. So we know Sue’s baby will be named Mark or Margaret.  



  1. If the library has The Lord of the Rings,you won’t find it on the first floor. This is because all fantasy novels are fiction and all works of fiction are housed on the second floor of the library. Of course, I am assuming that all the books are properly shelved at this time.



3.   “After a year, brain scans showed that among the walkers, the hippocampus had increased in volume by about 2 percent on average; in the others, it had declined by about 1.4 percent. Since such a decline is normal in older adults, ’a 2 percent increase is fairly significant,’ said the lead author, Kirk Erickson, a psychologist at the University of Pittsburgh. Both groups also improved on a test of spatial memory, but the walkers improved more. While it is hard to generalize from this study to other populations, the researchers were delighted to learn that the hippocampus might expand with exercise” (Span, 2011).




Span, P. (2011, February 7). Fitness: A walk to remember? Study says yes. The New York Times, p. D.6. Retrieved from


 1b: Identify Arguments as Inductive or Deductive

Identify the arguments as inductive or deductive for the following passages below. Offer a brief explanation why each argument is either inductive or deductive. (Remember that in this exercise you are not concerned with whether the arguments are strong or weak, valid or invalid. You are only concerned with the form of the arguments—that is, whether they are deductive or inductive.)


  1. Because Una has circles under her eyes, is yawning, and looks tired, I’m certain she didn’t get much sleep last night.






  1. Grace concluded that psychotherapists caused indigestion, because every time she had a session, she left with a horrible stomachache.






  1. If a bug is a spider, it must have eight legs. A daddy-longlegs has six legs, consequently, a daddy-longlegs is not a spider.     






Part 2


2a: Argument Identification and Anaylsis

In the following longer text passages, identify the key components of each argument. For each argument, list the main conclusion and the reasons (or premises) that support the conclusion.



  1. “You say many women at the most elite colleges intend to ‘put aside their careers in favor of raising children.’ But why shouldn’t the raising of children be considered a career as well? Few would deny that being a stay-at-home parent is a terrifically demanding job, requiring unlimited ‘people skills’ and a total commitment to a workweek that recognizes no concept of overtime, not to mention a paycheck. The term ‘working mother’ is a redundancy. No woman need feel any guilt for opting to fill her days with whichever activities give her the greatest joy and fulfillment” (English, 2005).



The author concludes that: __________________________________

The reasons for making the argument are: _____________________







  1. “The attorney general does not merely head up the Justice Department. He is responsible for ensuring that America is a nation in which justice prevails. Mr. Gonzales’s record makes him unqualified to take on this role or to represent the American justice system to the rest of the world. The Senate should reject his nomination” (The New York Times, Editorial, 2005).


The author concludes that: __________________________________

The reasons for making the argument are: _____________________







Editorial: The wrong Attorney General [Editorial]. (2005, January 26). The New York Times.

English, D. (2005, September 20). A revived debate: Babies, careers, ‘Having it all.’ [Letter to the editor]. The New York Times. Retrieved from



2b: Constructing Original Arguments

Complete the following:

Construct one original inductive argument and address the following:

  • Identify the conclusion and the supporting reasons within the argument.
  • Using 75–100 words, offer an explanation or justification for why the argument is an inductive argument.






Construct one original deductive argument and address the following:

  • Identify the conclusion and the supporting reasons within the argument.
  • Using 75–100 words, offer an explanation or justification for why the argument is a deductive argument.







2c: Finding Alternative Argument Examples or Finding Inductive or Deductive Argument Examples

Find one example of either an inductive or a deductive argument from contemporary media. Complete all the following tasks:

  • Identify the type of argument (inductive or deductive).
  • Include/reproduce the original passage of the argument and provide a complete citation for the source.
  • Identify/paraphrase the conclusion(s).
  • Using 75–100 words, identify/explain how you know or why you think the argument is an inductive/deductive one.





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