About This Chapter
Evaluating Arguments & Ideas - Chapter Summary
The lessons in this chapter help you strengthen your critical reading skills, specifically evaluating arguments and reasoning for strengths and weaknesses. Although reading critically is a skill you'll develop throughout your life, this chapter will help you practice basic strategies for interpreting a text. Some of the concepts covered in this chapter include:
- How to differentiate between statements and opinions
- How to differentiate between general and specific ideas in a passage
- How to compare and contrast ideas in the same passage and between two passages
- How to evaluate an author's reasoning
- How to determine if a statement strengthens or weakens an argument
- How to use inference to determine meaning
- How to identify implied relationships between ideas
This chapter helps you acquire and practice the basic comprehension skills needed for success on the exam. Each lesson includes a set of multiple-choice questions that let you assess your mastery of concepts covered. Our practice exam offers a broader review of the lessons in this chapter.
1. How to Analyze a Literary Passage: A Step-by-Step Guide
In this lesson, we will examine the steps involved in the basic analysis of literature. Then, using a well-known fable, we will go through each step of analysis: comprehension, interpreting and drawing conclusions.
2. How to Identify Relationships Between General & Specific Ideas
In this lesson, we will learn how to tell the difference between general and specific ideas. We will also explore the relationships between these ideas and practice identifying the ideas and their relationships.
3. Recognizing Biases, Assumptions & Stereotypes in Written Works
In this lesson, we will define and learn how to recognize biases, assumptions and stereotypes in written works. We will also practice identifying these elements with a few writing samples.
4. How to Recognize Implied Relationships in a Reading Selection
Some relationships in a reading passage will be implied and not plainly stated. These may be very difficult to understand, so watch this lesson to see clear steps to take to recognize implied relationships.
5. Challenging Statements & Opinions in a Reading Selection
Do you accept everything you read as fact? Just because something is in writing, does not mean it must be true. Watch this video lesson to learn how to challenge a writer's statements.
6. How to Compare & Contrast Ideas in a Reading Selection
The ability to compare and contrast the many ideas in one reading selection can be an overwhelming task. This video lesson gives a step-by-step method of how to successfully compare and contrast ideas in a reading selection.
7. How to Evaluate Reasoning
Evaluating reasoning in an essay or article is an important step in critical analysis. Being able to judge if something is reasonable whether or not you agree with the argument will be our learning focus for this video.
8. How to Recognize Statements that Strengthen or Weaken Arguments
In this lesson, we will learn how to recognize statements that strengthen or weaken arguments. We will pay special attention to identifying strong and weak claims, reasons, and evidence.
9. Evaluating Reasoning in an Essay or Article
Being able to effectively evaluate reasoning can be helpful to you as you develop your own deductive and inductive reasoning skills and put those skills to work in persuasive essays. This lesson sheds some light on how to evaluate reasoning.
10. What is Inference? - How to Infer Intended Meaning
In this lesson, we will define the terms inference and intended meaning. We will then discuss what steps to take when making inferences in literature.
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