“Think Again I: How to Understand Arguments” is the first in a series of four short courses that teach simple but vital rules to follow in thinking about any topic at all and common and tempting mistakes to avoid in reasoning. The courses discuss how to identify, analyze, and evaluate arguments by other people (including politicians, used car salesmen, and teachers) and how to construct arguments in order to help you decide what to believe or what to do.
When is someone giving an argument instead of just yelling? Which parts of what they say contribute to the argument? Why are they arguing instead of fighting? What are arguments made of? What forms do they take? Think Again: How to Understand Arguments will answer these questions and more.
In this course, you will learn what an argument is. The definition of argument will enable students to identify when speakers are giving arguments and when they are not. Next, we will learn how to break an argument into its essential parts, how to put them in order to reveal their connections, and how to fill in gaps in an argument. By the end of this course, students will be better able to understand and appreciate arguments that they and other people present.