Elements of Reason
Essay specific features
September 9, 2014
No of pages / words:
2 / 352
Rating of current essay:
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What's my purpose?
Why am I doing this?
ISSUE, QUESTION, OR PROBLEM TO SOLVE
What is the issue?
What is the precise question I'm trying to answer?
How can I define the problem?
What am I taking for granted?
Should I assume or take it for granted?
Are my assumptions justifiable?
POINT OF VIEW
What is my point of view?
What are other points of view?
Do I need to consider the subject from any other perspectives?
What information is necessary to answer the question?
How will I get the data?
Is the evidence laid out clearly?
Have I searched for information against my position & explained its relevance?
What ideas or concepts will help to explore the question, problem, or issue?
What concepts will guide the reasoning process?
What basic concepts do I need to clarify?
Have I defined my concepts precisely?
INTERPRETATION & INFERENCE
What conclusion, decision, judgment or belief will result from reasoning process?
What different interpretations might arise from the facts?
What do I base my conclusion on?
Is the conclusion justifiable?
Is the belief, opinion, action or policy in accord with reason and evidence?
Do my inferences follow directly from evidence to conclusion?
Are my inferences logical, consistent, and of sufficient depth?
What is actually implied and what might be carelessly inferred?
IMPLICATIONS & CONSEQUENCES OF CONCLUSION
Where does my reasoning take me?
What consequences might follow beyond the point I've taken the reasoning?
Might any false implications or undesirable consequences follow?
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The worksheet is designed such that at least one of the prompts in each category may best pertain to your topic, whether it be a question, an issue, or a problem to solve. If you find some prompts to be repetitive, move on until you find one that is relevant to you or new. If you print this form out, it can be used as scratch paper to brainstorm ideas, and the structure can be applied to composing an essay or speech...
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