How to use critical analysis

Building an argument

when you've finished this page you will be able to...


A discussion is not an invitation to give your opinions unsupported by evidence. To write a well-thought out, logical and persuasive discussion or argument, you'll need to take the following steps:

If you think carefully about each of these stages when you're constructing a discussion or argument, you'll find that you're able to develop a clear line of reasoning, build clear arguments supported by evidence, and come to a well-considered conclusion.

Activity: building an argument - 30 minutes, or possibly more

An argument or discussion needs to be built around evidence that has been carefully evaluated for its validity - it's not just an opportunity for you to state your point of view

1. In the box below there are some headings you can use to help you build a logical, well-reasoned argument or discussion.

2. To build your argument, make notes under each heading. Add any references you plan to use too.

  • Hypothesis or proposal (for example, The growth of large supermarket chains has kept food prices low}
  • Evidence in support of hypothesis
  • Quality of this evidence
  • Opposing arguments (for example, Supermarkets have caused food price inflation)
  • Evidence in support of opposing arguments
  • Quality of this evidence
  • Conclusions based on the evidence

Recommended Further Reading

Although an academic discussion is not the place for unsupported opinions, you can and should 'make your voice heard' in your work. On the next page we look at ways you can do this.

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