Let’s understand how to find conclusion from an argument. The first step to answer any Critical Reasoning or Logical Reasoning question is to find the conclusion if stated in the argument.
Argument includes some information that may consists of facts, opinions or the combinations of both. After the argument, a question is asked that is of several types, which we’ll discuss after understanding the C.R parts. After the question, you’ll see some answer choices. For instance, given below is a basic and simple type of C.R question.
Critical Reasoning or Logical Reasoning:
Traffic congestion has become a significant problem in modern day life, where fast transportation without any blockage has become necessity. To overcome this issue, Government of Country X has introduced a policy to impose huge taxes on vehicles covering some space according to their size. Since imposing such taxes would not discourage transporters to use their vehicles, rather it might result to a higher transportation fare. Therefore, the proposed policy would fail in achieving its goal.
Which of the following statement, if true, would strengthen the argument above.
A) Traffic congestion has become the challenge in modern lifestyle.
B) Higher taxes would facilitate the Government of Country X to increase their annual budget.
C) Their conveyance has become the necessity for the vehicle owners, so taxes are no big hurdle.
D) The income generated from the budget can be used to make wider roads to avoid the issue.
E) The Government should spend its budget in construction of new flyovers, rather than imposing these taxes in long-run.
Remember that an Argument consists of facts, opinions or combinations of both. Let’s understand these two things, which make an Argument:
An information that cannot be challenged and is considered and accepted as true. In countries like Pakistan, many people especially politicians waste time to challenge about facts, rather than opinion. And usually they considers somebody’s opinion as fact and spread the rumor in such a passion as if it is a fact. And the result you see, they fail to convince the honorable judges in court of law, where each word has it’s own significance. Hence they fail their case, and again cry in through press conference. So you have to be clear and confident, while listening or reading any statement, in deciding whether it’s a fact or just an opinion. So fact is a research data, or some statement that is considered as true and whose validity is not under consideration. It is accepted as true clearly by using commonsense.
An opinion is a claim by somebody that can be refuted based on his inaccurate analysis or false assumption. In court of laws, fact when once decided is not allowed to challenged, refuted or ignored while giving a counter argument. A strong and convincing opinion is based on facts rather than another opinions. So if an opinion is based on another opinion, the other opinion can also be challenged and can be proven or convinced to be proven as false. So an opinion is a claim that can be challenged and refuted at anytime.
Fact vs Opinion:
Read the first statement of the Argument in the example above, which states that ‘Traffic congestion has created a significant problem in modern day life, where fast transportation without any blockage has become necessity’. Ask yourself whether this statement is a fact or an opinion? take few seconds and try to answer by your own. Then go ahead if decided.
If you have decided, let’s see are you on right track or not? The answer is that it is not an opinion, rather it’s a fact. This is a believe that is not in question in the argument. The author of the argument consider this statement as true, but call into question the way to tackle this issue proposed by Government of Country X. After lot of practice you would understand how to distinguish an opinion from a fact. So don’t worry if you answered incorrect. On other hand, if you answered it correctly, then it’s fantastic!
Let’s discuss the second sentence of the above mentioned argument, which states that ‘To overcome this issue, Government of Country X has introduced a policy to impose huge taxes on vehicles covering lot of space due to their large size’. Is this fact or opinion? Take your time and answer by your own again.
Now, if you decided, let’s see your performance. Here again it’s not an opinion, rather it’s a fact. Can this be questioned whether Government of Country X proposed/introduced a policy to impose ……xyz……? ‘Whether the Government introduced the policy or not introduced the policy’ is a point not in debate. It is again accepted as true by the argument, and hence cannot be challenged.
Let’s read the third sentence that says ‘Since imposing taxes would not discourage transporters to use their vehicles, rather it would result in higher transportation fare due to imposition of those taxes’, and see whether it’s an opinion or a fact.
Here it comes an opinion, because the author predicting after his own analysis, which may be proven wrong by anybody through counter argument. Imposing taxes may truly discourage the vehicles owners to use their vehicles further. So it’s the personal opinion of the author of this argument.
Finally, the last statement, which says ‘Therefore, the policy would fail in achieving its goal’, is also clearly an opinion, which is based on another opinion preceding to it. Because again it’s the prediction by the personal analysis of the author, which can be challenged and proven wrong.
Why is this important to split argument?
It’s important because we need to find the conclusion of the argument. Remember that the conclusion are many times stated in the argument, and sometimes not stated in the argument. But in the above argument, the conclusion is stated. Many of the students know the conclusion. Because, they perhaps heard or learned at somewhere that any sentence start with words like ‘therefore’, ‘so’, ‘concludes that’ and many others etc. Yes the conclusion of the argument is truly the last sentence which says ‘Therefore, the policy would fail in achieving its goal’. But what if, I rearrange the last two sentences as below:
The policy seems to fail in achieving its goal, since imposing taxes would not discourage transporters to use their vehicles, rather it would result in higher transportation fare due to imposition of those taxes’.
As it was an easier argument, which is for beginners, so it is somewhat easy to find the conclusion here. But in many occasions in hard level arguments, the conclusion is mixed inside the argument with some strange wording that you cannot judge whether it is a conclusion. These you’ll learn in advance level course. After completion of the complete preparation online course, this concept will be in your fingertips. 🙂