Study Questions on Philosophy, Analysis, Evidence, Reasoning, and Debate Format Units


  1. Define and provide your own example for each of the following terms (terms will be provided during the exam -- any term that has been used in lecture, text, discussion or handouts may be used). (ALL UNITS)

  2. Explain and provide your own examples for Paul's "Seven Traits of Mind." (Unit I)

  3. Compare and contrast the "Audience-Centered" (Persuasion-Based) and "Traditional" (Logic-Based) schools of argumentation, including how they differ in approach to ethos, pathos and logos. Also, provide original examples clearly illustrating the two schools differing use of ethos, pathos, and logos. (Unit I)

  4. Explain each of the "Four Rhetorical Styles," including which style or styles should be considered audience-centered or logic-based. As part of the analysis, clearly explain the difference between rational argument and manipulation/propaganda, and also the distinctions between self/group centered and socially responsible motivations for argumentation/persuasion. Explain significant ethical implications of each style. Also, provide examples that clearly illustrate each style. (Unit I)

  5. "Anatomy of an Argument." Use your own example of an argument between two parties to illustrate the following concepts: status quo, presumption, proposition, prima facie case, burden of proof, burden of refutation, burden of rebuttal. Also, define each of those terms. (Unit I)

  6. Define "Critical Thinking" and explain the key terms in the definition. Then, explain criteria for a "good" definition and use those criteria to evaluate your own definition. (Unit I & II)

  7. What is a proposition? What are the three basic types of propositions? (Explain and give your own example of each.) Discuss at least five of the Eight Guidelines for Propositions. (For each, explain the guideline, give an example of a sentence that violates it and another example that corrects the violation.) (Unit II)
  8. Define analysis. Discuss the consequences of poor analysis - illustrate with your own examples. Explain obfuscation and the techniques used to accomplish it - illustrate with your own examples. Contrast good analysis of issues with poor analysis, illustrating with your own examples and including explanation of Argumentum ad Rem and red herrings. (Unit II)

  9. Define "Stock Issues." Then, using your own policy proposition on the topic provided to you (during the exam), support it with a stock issues case, clearly illustrating the nature of each issue. Then, do the same for a proposition of fact and a proposition of value. (If topics are not provided, use your own original topic.) (Unit II)

  10. Explain each of the six rules of outlining. Correct any errors in the outline provided to you (during the exam), labeling each as to type of error. If no outline is provided. provide two examples for each rule: one that violates the rule and a correction that passes it. (Unit II)

  11. Explain the “Four Basic Tests of Evidence” and the “Three Basic Source Tests.” Using the appropriate tests of evidence, evaluate the examples of evidence provided to you (during the exam). If no examples are provided, for each test (or sub-test) you discuss, provide original examples of evidence that pass and examples that fail each test (or sub-test). (Unit III)

  12. In the following arguments (provided during exam) indicate which informal logical fallacies are present -- be as specific as possible and justify your assessments. (Unit IV)

  13. Explain the Toulmin Model. Then, use the model to analyze (break down) the arguments provided (during the exam). Use all six parts of the model – if the argument provided does not have wording corresponding to a particular part of the model (e. g., the “warrant” is missing), infer what it would be (or suggest what it could be). Identify each argument as to type (e. g., “analogy”). Then use the appropriate tests to evaluate each argument, justifying your assessment of that argument’s strength or weakness. (Unit IV)

  14. Explain what a syllogism is. Then, indicate whether each of the following arguments (provided during the exam) is valid or invalid. If the argument is invalid, explain what rule (or rules) of the syllogism is broken. (Unit IV)

  15. What is “debate?” When is argumentation debate, and when is it not debate? What are the advantages and disadvantage of a debate approach? Explain typical formats for academic team (two-on-two) debate and academic Lincoln-Douglas debate. Discuss also a possible format for a “public” type debate, justifying your design. (Unit V)