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Essay: Conditional Argument

Conditional Argument

Conditional argument

      Dr. Otto

Conditional statements (if A then B) are another form of deductive reasoning used to solve a problem. Conditional statements do not close the problem solving process but add information and logic that might help to solve a problem  … to close the information gap and logical gap.

YouTube Tutorial – click HERE
Text for Tutorial – click HERE.
Sample – scroll down to Sample
Assignment – scroll down to Assignment
Answer Key – scroll down to Answer Key
Practice oral English – click HERE
ASK DR. OTTO – click HERE

Notes

Once again, readers look for reliable information based on evidence and logical arguments. When readers sense that the information is not reliable, suspicion sets in. If the arguments do not fit together logically, they are not convincing even when the information seems correct.

Once readers feel that the writer has established a reliable base of information reinforced with logical arguments, they are prepared to accept conditional arguments. Without that base, readers cannot know whether a statement that follows logically from another statement is true or false.

A conditional argument is a form of deductive reasoning where Statement B follows from Statement A. The truth of Statement B is dependent upon the truth of Statement A. The truth of Statement A is dependent upon logic or evidence.

Conditional arguments enable people to think through a problem by exploring the consequences of different courses of action. It is a way of thinking about what would happen if certain actions were taken. This includes thinking through hypothetical situations – situations which could but have not happened.

A conditional argument is made as follows:

  • The truth of statement A is based on evidence.
  • For statement B to be true, statement A must be true.

It takes the form of:

IF  A  THEN  B

After you have read the following paragraph, read the analysis that follows.

Sample

Natural Disaster

If the residents of Grand Forks experienced a decline in personal health and family well-being immediately after the Flood of ’97, then there is reason to believe that natural disasters have a negative effect on people. Dr. Julie Anderson at Altru Health System addressed this issue in her study of the health and family life of the residents of Grand Forks after the Flood of ’97. Anderson’s research, comparing the two years after the flood with the two years prior, showed a 6 percent increase in hospital admissions and a 14 percent increase in clinic visits. The two years after also saw a substantial increase in divorces. Years of illness and disruptions in family life followed the Flood of ’97 which suggests that there is a correlation between natural disasters and reduction in the quality of life.

Conditional argument

Since a conditional argument depends on whether Statement A is true, it is important to provide the evidence that supports Statement A.

·         Statement A

If the residents of Grand Forks experienced a decline in personal health and family well-being immediately after the Flood of ’97

–       Evidence supporting Statement A (The truth of statement A is based on evidence produced in a study by Dr. Julie Anderson.)

Anderson’s research, comparing the two years after the flood with the two years prior, showed a 6 percent increase in hospital admissions and a 14 percent increase in clinic visits. The two years after also saw a substantial increase in divorces.

  • Statement B is dependent on statement A (The truth of Statement B is based on Statement A.)

then there is reason to believe that natural disasters have a negative effect on people

Assignment

Assignment: Conditional argument

Read the following essay and identify the conditional argument presented in the essay.

Time is Running Out

While scientists are debating whether the people of the earth should be concerned about global warming, Canadians need to act. This is not said to belittle the debate among scientists; their research provides vital information. However, since many scientists claim that the global warming trend is likely to have negative consequences, the people of Canada should plan for the future with this information in mind. The predominantly negative effects of global warming on Canada will be described in this essay.

Why the people of Canada? Many scientists agree that if the atmosphere continues to get warmer, many regions will experience negative effects. True, some regions may enjoy some benefits. For example, the farmers on the prairies might enjoy a longer growing season.

But, most Canadians would suffer negative consequences. The Maritimes and the West Coast would experience coastal flooding; arid regions of southern Alberta would turn into deserts; and the permafrost in the Yukon would decay more and more. Skiers would have fewer places to ski in British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec because of a shortage of snow. The fish migration patterns along the eastern shoreline might change so much that the prime fishing areas may disappear. All these changes together would have a negative impact on the lifestyle of most Canadians.

Of course, more research is needed to determine the impact of global warming. But that is not good enough for responsible Canadians. We need to take steps immediately to slow down the global warming trend. Canadians should object more strongly to clear cut logging in British Columbia. We must change from being one of the highest users in the world of fossil fuels to one of the lowest.

This would be a promising start to save Canada, as we know it. Not to respond to the threat of global warming would be like ignoring a tornado warning. Let’s not wait till devastation is upon us.

Conditional Argument

Since a conditional argument depends on whether Statement A is true, it is important to provide the evidence that supports Statement A.

 

·         Statement A

_____________________________________________________________________

–     Evidence supporting Statement A (The truth of statement A is based on evidence) _____________________________________________________________________

  • ­Statement B is dependent on statement A (The truth of Statement B is based on Statement A.)

____________________________________________________________________

Assignment

Writing Assignment: Conditional argument

Write a paragraph in which you use a conditional argument on a topic of your choice. Submit it to your instructor or tutor for feedback on grammar and your conditional argument. Then edit your paragraph based on the feedback you received.

Complete the template for  Conditional Argument on your paragraph.

Conditional Argument

Since a conditional argument depends on whether Statement A is true, it is important to provide the evidence that supports Statement A.

 

·         Statement A

_____________________________________________________________________

–      Evidence supporting Statement A (The truth of statement A is based on evidence) _____________________________________________________________________

  • ­Statement B is dependent on statement A (The truth of Statement B is based on Statement A.)

____________________________________________________________________

Answer Key

Deductive Reasoning – Literacy and the Internet

Factual Premise the Internet can be used to connect students around the world with each other               and to resource people in universities and the workplace

Factual premiseThrough these networks, students can access information on most topics.

________________    _____________________________________________________

Factual conclusionThere is good reason to believe that the use of the Internet could help to improve students’ research and communication skills.

Conditional Argument – Time is Running Out

  • Statement A is dependent on evidence (Since a conditional argument depends on whether Statement A is true, it is important to provide the evidence that supports Statement A.)

–       Statement A

if the atmosphere continues to get warmer

–       Evidence supporting Statement A (The truth of statement A is based on scientific evidence)

This is not said to belittle the debate among scientists; their research provides vital information.

many scientists claim that the global warming trend is likely to have negative consequences

  • Statement B is dependent on statement A (The truth of Statement B is based on Statement A.)

many regions will experience negative effects