Let’s look at this example:

Stimulus  Toads cause warts. I touched a toad last week and now I have a wart, therefore the toad was responsible.
Question Stem  How would you rate the accuracy of the above statement? Support your position with reasons and examples.

The Stimulus

In the first part of the Analysis of Issue topic, the writer tries to persuade you of their conclusion by referring to evidence. When you read the “arguments” in these questions, be on the lookout for assumptions and poor logical reasoning used to make a conclusion.

The Question Stem

Question stems will ask you to decide how convincing you find the argument. You will be asked to explain why an argument is not convincing, and discuss what might improve the argument. For this task, you’ll need to: first, analyze the argument itself and evaluate its use of evidence; second, explain how a different approach or more information would make the argument itself better (or possibly worse).

They say: Explain what, if anything, would make the argument more valid and convincing or help you to better evaluate its conclusion.

Translation: Spot weak links in the argument and offer changes that would strengthen them.

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