Comm 210 – Critical Thinking Review for Final Exam – DYER CHAPTER 2: CLAIMS * WHAT IS A CLAIM? * main thesis or conclusion of a text * Major conclusion of a piece of writing that the author is trying to persuade you to accept * Not an example, a definition, or a statistic * A broader issue, addressed at a greater level of abstraction than evidence ————————————————- AN ARTICLE = Claim + (Evidence + Examples + Reasoning to support the claim) * FINDING CLAIMS: (explicitly or implicitly stated) or these cue words in a text as they might indicate that the author is about to make a claim: * Therefore, * Thus, * In summary, * I believed that, * Clearly, * In short, * The data show that, * As a result, * In fact, …and synonyms of these words. ————————————————- IT IS IMPORTANT TO ENSURE THAT YOUR STATEMENT OF THE CLAIM IS ‘FAIR’, THAT YOU HAVE NOT DISTORTED THE AUTHOR’S MEANING. Claim can be difficult to spot sometimes, here is an example: The statistics estimated that 39% of the software computers were not legally purchased.
The claim would be: Pirated merchandise is a big problem for manufacturing firms. The anecdotes and statistics are ONLY evidence to support the claim. There are two types of claims: uncontested claims and contestable claims. * UNCONTESTED (UNPROBLEMATIC) CLAIMS: > claims that we accept without challenging them. Examples: * Claims that are consistent with our own experiences and observations, things that we have actually seen, heard, or touched (e. g. : there is traffic on the roads between 4pm and 6 pm. ) Similarly, we accept claims that relate to subjective experiences (e. . : golf is my favourite sport) (empirical) * Claims which appear to be facts that are independent of interpretation (e. g. : Quebec is larger than Nova Scotia). Events that happened are often not questioned (e. g. : when we read a newspaper report of a train accident) (that are “qualitative observation” or just descriptive) * Claims that are already proven by experts * Technical or mathematical claims * CONTESTABLE CLAIMS Contestable claims are the ones that we challenge to question its truth or falsity. WE ARE WORKING WITH THESE TYPES OF CLAIMS.
Often this type of claim is not commonly accepted knowledge. Prof Kaufman also mentioned that ALL claims are contestable. However, claims can be worded differently but should still contain the same idea. Our claim should match the Prof’s idea. When stating the author’s claim, we should present it in an accurate and concise manner. (I tend to put too many details when you state a claim, I must be careful) DESCRIBING CLAIMS: * Intelligible & fair summary * Likely locations LONG VS. SHORT Claims are often presented in a single sentence when reading a short article.
When we can spot the claim, we should paraphrase and summarize in a clear and efficient manner. When reading a long article, claims are not always presented in a single sentence. Therefore we should look for: * List of important concepts * Series of propositions how these concepts are related * Concept map CONCEPT MAPS A concept map is a graphical presentation as a diagram or a drawing of the claim. Concept maps are a compact way of summarizing complex material and can help make the claim more memorable. CHAPTER 3: EVIDENCE Evidence is to support our claim. It can consist of:
Statistics / Details of past events / Anecdotes / Written accounts / Previously established claims and… Anything that can provide reasoning and support or claim An argument is the combination of a claim and the evidence for it. Cue words to present evidence are: * Because * As a result * In the first place * In the second place * For example * In addition * Given that * Studies show * For the following reasons QUALITY OF EVIDENCE Evidence should be strong and substantial but it can also be weak and shaky. If evidence is of low quality, this will make the claim highly dubious.
On the other hand, of the evidence are high quality, it will increase the probability of the claim. * Accuracy (truth) is the most important characteristic of good evidence. Check out for grammatical errors or inaccurate quotations. These factors decrease the author’s reliability making the argument less persuasive. * Precision (numbers and quotes) is the sign of good evidence. Often people will use numbers instead of just an adjective (97% instead of quite high). Direct quotations can be used to increase precision. Over or under precision can decrease credibility. Sufficiency is presenting enough evidence to support a claim. It is unlikely that one piece of data is enough to support a claim. When presenting a claim with insufficient, the term: “fallacy of hasty generalization” is used to describe this situation. * Representativeness (good sample of the demographic) is the sample size and its fair representation of the claim. * Authority (author has credentials) is the credibility of the author or experts. When looking for authority, one should look at his career, background, special training, professional credentials and experience. Clearly expressed : is well written, logical sequence of reasons CHAPTER 4: UNDERLYING ASSUMPTIONS * Implicit or explicit principles that form bases of our beliefs & reasoning * They tells us whether evidence provided for a claim is relevant Reality assumptions / Value assumptions * One must challenge underlying assumptions CHAPTER 5: CAUSAL CLAIMS * Causal explanation = Author’s interpretation of cause & effect relationships * Rival causes: the same evidence can be consistent with different interpretations * Examine critically causal explanations of : Differences between groups * Association of characteristics * Reverse causation * Effect of 3rd variable * Claims of post hoc, ergo propter hoc ————————————————- Critiquing Collins & Porras’ claim: Sucessful companies preserve their core ideology and stimulate progress through a vivid and audacious envisioned future. ————————————————- What is the causal explanation for this claim? Overall terms I should know * Economies of scale (Chandler) Economies of scope (Chandler) * Shareholders (Part owners of the corporation) Stakeholders (Broader group of people who have an interest in the firm because they are influenced by its actions) * Diversification (Chandler) * Research and Development (The activities in a firm that combine scientific research and technological development to produce innovations in products or services) * Best Practices (Porter says that following “best practices” is not good because it leads to everyone doing the same thing.
This is not a good strategy) * Mergers & Acquisitions (Chandler- leads to diversification. Chandler says make sure you diversify in a related area) * Chief Executive Officer (sets the company’s policies and strategic direction to ensure the firm’s success) (Greiner says they change as the company grows/changes, Porter says they are important because they have the decision of deciding on strategy, Collins & Porras says they are in charge of making sure that everyone who is hired has the same core ideology as the company) Multinational Firm & Globalization (Operating globally, in two or more different countries) (Chandler) * Organizational Structure (Greiner) * Return on investment (related to “bottom line”, Kaplan & Norton) * Life cycle (Greiner, child growing cannot skip phases, same as the company) * Claims (Main thesis or conclusion of a text. Likely located at the beginning and the end of the text). * Qualities of evidence Sufficient, Accurate, Precise, Representative, Authoritative, Clearly Expressed. Reality and value assumptions (The link between the claim and the evidence) * Reality- The way things really are * Value- The way things ought to be IS THIS GUY A MAD MAN? * What is the claim in the article? * Is the claim contestable? * How is the quality of the evidence in the article (give 1 example for each)? * Accuracy: * Precision: * Sufficiency: * Representative (valid for all companies): * Authority: * Clarity of expression: What is your underlying assumption? * Give an example of a causal claim in this article. THE MEGABUS EFFECT * What is the claim in the article? * Is the claim contestable? * How is the quality of the evidence in the article (give 1 example for each)? * Accuracy: * Precision: * Sufficiency: * Representative (valid for all companies): * Authority: * Clarity of expression: * What is your underlying assumption? * Give an example of a causal claim in this article.