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Gary Comstock (professor of philosophy at Norh Carolina State University):

 " Before Rationale, I was only able to lecture at my students about the skill of evaluating arguments. 

After Rationale, I have the technology I need to help them actually acquire the skill." 


Kees van EE, Stafbureau O&O, Hanzehogeschool:

' Finally: a method that provides lecturers with real tools to help students getting their thinking and writing to a higher level.

And even more: the excellent Rationale program helps you making a good structure for your reasoning, arguments, analyses and evaluation.'


 More testimonials





What is Argument Mapping?

Both research and experience in the field of education show that critical thinking skills improve with argument mapping. Argument mapping is, roughly, making a picture of reasoning. More precisely, it is the graphical display of the structure of reasoning and argumentation.

Argument maps are box-and-line diagrams that lay out visually reasoning and evidence for and against a statement or claim. A good map clarifies and organizes thinking by showing the logical relationships between thoughts that are expressed simply and precisely.

Argument maps are driven by asking, ‘Should I believe that? Why, or why not?’.

You can produce two kinds of argument maps in Rationale:
1. Reasoning maps, which lay out arguments in a quick, intuitive way
2. Analytic maps, which enable a more careful and rigorous analysis of an argument.





How does Argument Mapping differ from other kinds of mapping?

Typically, argument maps are box-and-arrow diagrams, a bit like flowcharts. Like mind mapping, for example, argument mapping belong to the family of ‘thought mapping’. Argument mapping is distinctive in focusing exclusively on reasoning or argument structure, and is specialized for that purpose.

Different kinds of map are defined by the nature of the relationships they depict – what the boxes and lines mean. What kind of map something is depends on: what goes in the boxes; and what the connecting lines indicate. Argument Maps show only evidential (inferential) relationships between claims. In Argument Maps, the lines mean something very specific: that something is a reason to believe or a reason not to believe something else. Argument maps are driven by the question, ‘Why should I believe that?’. Any map driven by that question is an Argument Map.


Why Map Arguments?

There are many reasons to learn argument mapping: