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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

 

 

 

 

6 STEPS TO BETTER CRITICAL THINKING

 

Rationale’s interface has been designed to provide a path for critical thinking. From gathering research, to weighing up evidence to formulating a judgement, Rationale will assist you.

Take a look at these 6 critical thinking steps with examples to demonstrate the path to better outcomes.

  1. Organise Information
  2. Structure Reasoning
  3. Consider Evidence
  4. Identify Assumptions
  5. Evaluate Arguments
  6. Communicate Conclusion

 

Step 1: Organise Information

We have no difficulty in locating information. The key is that the information is selected and structured appropriately. With Rationale’s grouping maps you can drag information from the web onto your workspace and include colour, hyperlinks and images. The structured, pyramid like maps provide a guide for students to structure the information in such a way that reveals the connections between the main topic and its various themes or categories.

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Step 2: Structure Reasoning

Many people provide opinions but rarely provide supporting reasons for their view. Rationale’s reasoning maps encourage people to support their responses and to consider different opinions. It uses colour conventions to display reasoning – green for reasons, red for objections and orange for rebuttals. It also includes indicator or connecting words so that the relationship between statements is clearly understood.

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Step 3: Consider Evidence

A test of a solid argument is how good the evidence is that underpins the claims. Rationale’s basis boxes provide a means to identify the basis upon which a statement is given. The icons provide a visual guide as to the range of research utilised and the strength of the evidence that is provided.

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Step 4: Indentify Assumptions

We often talk about analysing arguments. This can mean a few things including looking at the logical structure of the argument to ensure it is valid or well formed and also identifying assumptions or co premises. For those who require higher levels of analysis, Rationale provides the analysis map format to show the relationships between main premises and co premises.

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Step 5: Evaluate Arguments

Once arguments for and against an issue have been logically structured, they need to be evaluated. Rationale provides a visual guide for the evaluation of claims and evidence - the stronger the colour, the stronger the argument while icons designate acceptable or rejected claims. While learning this process of evaluating arguments, the colour and icons provide immediate undertanding and communication of the conclusion.

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Step 6: Communicate Conclusion

Presenting ideas orally or in writing is crucial and is often the distinguishing feature between good results and average ones. Rationale has essay and letter writing templates to build skills and confidence. Templates provide instruction and generation of prose. When exported, there is a structured essay plan with detailed instructions to assist understanding of clear and systematic prose.

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