ATS2946 - Critical thinking: How to analyse arguments and improve your reasoning skills - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit



Dr Oisin Deery (on-campus)

Dr Sam Butchart (off-campus, Summer Semester A)

Unit guides



  • First semester 2017 (Flexible)
  • Second semester 2017 (Day)
  • Second semester 2017 (Flexible)
  • Summer semester A 2017 (On-campus block of classes)



This unit is intended to improve students' critical thinking skills. In particular, we focus on the skills involved in argument analysis. We will address the essential features of good arguments and how they can be articulated and represented. We will also examine the many ways in which reasoning can go wrong and how to avoid them. While we will focus on some of the theory of successful thinking, our main focus will be the practical techniques necessary for you to reason more effectively. Students completing the unit successfully will be better at evaluating evidence, critiquing arguments, and will be able to use these abilities in a wide variety of future studies.


Students successfully completing this subject should:

  1. have a theoretical understanding of what an argument is
  2. have developed the skills to extract the arguments from a variety of texts
  3. be able to identify and represent the structure of an argument
  4. understand the criteria of argument success and have the skills to apply those criteria to evaluate a variety of arguments
  5. have developed the skills to evaluate some common types of argument.


Within semester assessment: 75%

Exam: 25%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study