ATS2946 - Critical thinking: How to analyse arguments and improve your reasoning skills - 2019

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


Chief examiner(s)

Dr Oisin Deery (Semester 1)
Dr Joshua Luczak (Semester 2)


Dr Oisin Deery (Semester 1)
Professor Jakob Hohwy (Semester 2)
Ms Kelsey Perrykkad (Summer semester A)

Unit guides



  • First semester 2019 (Flexible)
  • Second semester 2019 (Flexible)
  • Second semester 2019 (On-campus)
  • Summer semester A 2019 (Flexible)




Critical thinking skills are useful in a wide variety of professions, including law, business, computer science, medicine, as well as in everyday life. What is the best way to construct, articulate and represent an argument? How do we distinguish real news from "fake" news? Should we believe what our doctors, mechanics, or financial advisors tell us, just because they are experts in their fields? By addressing questions like these, we will examine several methods of effective reasoning. We will also examine the ways in which reasoning can go wrong. Students who successfully complete the unit will be able to evaluate evidence, critique arguments, and use these abilities in a wide variety of situations, both in and beyond the classroom.


Upon successful completion of the unit, students will be able to:

  1. identify and explain the theory of argument;
  2. extract arguments from a variety of texts;
  3. identify and represent the structure of an argument;
  4. recognise and apply the criteria of argument success
  5. evaluate common types of argument;
  6. construct an argument of their own.


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

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