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Points to Remember

  1. Most argument questions hinge on determining the conclusion of the argument.
  2. To find the conclusion, check the final sentence of the argument. If the last sentence is not the conclusion, check the first sentence. Rarely does the conclusion come in the middle of the argument.
  3. Some means “at least one and perhaps all.”
  4. Some of the most common conclusion flags are
hence therefore conclude that
so accordingly as a result
thus consequently implies
follows that shows that means that
  1. Premises provide evidence for the conclusion; they form the foundation or infrastructure upon which the conclusion depends. To determine whether a statement is a premise, ask yourself whether it supports the conclusion. If so, it’s a premise.
  2. The following is a partial list of the most common premise indicators:
because suppose in that
since assume owing to
if for in as much as
as is evidence that may be derived from
  1. To test whether an answer-choice is a suppressed premise, ask yourself whether it would make the argument more plausible. If so, then it is very likely a suppressed premise.
  2. A common argument question asks you to either strengthen or weaken an argument. Typically, these questions pivot on suppressed premises: to strengthen an argument, show that a suppressed premise is true; to weaken an argument, show that a suppressed premise is false.
  3. A counter-premise is a concession to a minor point that weakens your argument.
  4. The following are some of the most common counter-premise indicators.
but however although
admittedly despite regardless
even though except notwithstanding
nevertheless nonetheless in spite of the fact

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