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Here are the common phrases discussed in Chapter 4 for writing an assessment of the quality of an argument. Each heading links to the relevant section of the text.
Lack of clarity
- What exactly does X mean by _____________?
- He seems to imply that _____________, but leaves ambiguous whether or not that means_____________.
- They fail to clarify what exactly _____________ refers to.
- He does not define what he means by _____________.
- She explores _____________, but fails to articulate a clear message.
- X leaves open the question of _____________.
- The argument never specifies whether _____________ or _____________.
- Readers will wonder if they mean_____________ or _____________.
- Readers may be confused by the shifting meaning of the term “_____________.”
- Many will interpret _____________ to mean _____________, but some might also take it to mean _____________.
Praise for clarity
- This piece clearly articulates the case that _____________.
- The argument lays bare the assumptions on which the whole case for _____________ is based.
- X has clarified the reasoning that underpins the common opinion that _____________.
- The argument is based on the idea that _____________, but this is not entirely true because _____________.
- The reason given is that _____________, but the author has not considered the possibility that, in fact, _____________.
- The author does not acknowledge that _____________ might be the case.
- The argument presents only two possibilities,_____________ and _____________, when in fact it could be the case that _____________
- The question _____________ assumes that _____________, when, in fact, it could be that_____________.
- She convincingly supports this claim by _____________.
- They give many examples of _____________ to support the idea that _____________.
- His evidence of _____________ ranges from anecdotes to large-scale academic studies to expert testimonials.
- X refers to credible academic studies of _____________ to bolster their argument that _____________.
- X refers to a number of credible experts to establish that, in general, _____________.
- X asserts that _____________ but does not offer any evidence.
- The argument builds on the premise that _____________, but fails to support that premise.
- X offers scant evidence for the claim that _____________.
- The argument gives an example to support the claim that _____________, but gives no evidence that this example is typical.
- _____________ is not enough to show that _____________.
- The essay offers only _____________ as evidence when it should also point to _____________ and _____________.
- The argument presents _____________ as a reason to believe _____________, but this supposed reason is just a rewording of the claim.
- The writer provides no real justification for the idea that _____________; to convince us they just repeat that idea with different phrasing.
- The argument claims that _____________ will inevitably lead to _____________, but this is far from certain.
- They assume that _____________ will set off a chain reaction leading to _____________; however this is unlikely because _____________.
- _____________relies on the idea that _____________; however, _____________.
- The argument assumes that _____________ without providing evidence.
- _____________takes for granted that _____________, but we may wonder whether this is a justified assumption because_____________.
- _____________depends on the assumption that_____________. Is this always the case? Some might say that _____________.
- _____________ depends on a belief in _____________, which may not be shared by all readers because _____________.
- The underlying idea here is that _____________; however we must ask ourselves whether _____________.
- The implicit assumption is that _____________ but some may question whether, in fact, _____________.
- X is correct in their assumption that _____________ because _____________.
- X rightly assumes that _____________.
- The author effectively counters the common view that _____________ by arguing that, in fact, _____________.
- The writer acknowledges that _____________ but explains that this is because _____________.
- The argument responds to the _____________ critique of their position by noting that _____________.
- The argument fails to mention the opposing view that _____________.
- The author attempts to respond to critics by claiming that _____________, but this response is not convincing because _____________.
Praise a subsection
- Although the argument does not succeed in proving that _____________, it does help us understand _____________.
- Though the evidence X presents does not prove _____________, it does provide rich material for further discussion.
- X’s conclusion that _____________ doesn’t seem fully justified, but the evidence does show that _____________.
- X makes an important point when they note that _____________.
- X’s insight into _____________ sheds new light on _____________.
- X clearly outlines the problem of _____________, even though their solution leaves much to be desired.
- This piece does clarify the nature of _____________ even though it does not _____________.
Praise for bringing attention
- X brings much-needed attention to the issue of _____________, which is helpful because_____________.
- The essay drives home the need for more focus on _____________.
- This piece highlights the urgent situation of _____________.
Praise the framing
- X’s discussion of _____________ provides a new way to think about _____________.
- The argument’s biggest contribution lies in its framing of _____________ as _____________.
Praise for raising a question
- X’s focus on _____________ helps clarify an important question for further exploration: _____________?
- The argument points toward the need for further study of _____________ to determine _____________.
- X’s analysis reveals the gaps in our understanding of _____________.