Critical thinking

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This course is designed for students who are native or near-native speakers of English. At the end of it, you’ll be in a much stronger position to identify and analyse arguments – and to produce your own, using relevant material and crystal-clear language.

Language guide: for this course, we recommend these levels of English: native/near-native competence / 8 (IELTS) / 120 (TOEFL iBT) / C2 (CEF) / CPE.

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 Looking at arguments

You’ll see how to identify arguments made in all kinds of ways – and also start to think about what makes a good argument.

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It depends what you mean by

Language can be used to make an argument clear – or to confuse the issue. Today you’ll look at some of the different meanings of common words – and the misunderstand-ings they can cause.

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Deductive versus inductive

Some conclusions must be true, some may be true – and some are more probable than others. Here you’ll find out what we mean!

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Bad arguments

‘You can’t believe what they say, because they live on the north side of town.’ Obviously a bad argument. But some are not so obvious…

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Truth, knowledge and belief

How can you be sure about what you know, and what if someone else is convinced that they are right and you are wrong?

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Using evidence

When you make an argument, you need to select evidence to support your case. But what is relevant, and what is not?

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Plain English

Good arguments can be lost in waffle and verbiage. So here you’ll look at extracting the arguments from a text and expressing them in a way which everyone will understand.

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Expressing your argument

Finally, you’ll work on making your own arguments, and making them as clear as you can. It’s not just what you say, it’s also the way you say it…