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A difficult paragraph, not least because the ideas being presented are complex and metaphorical. A key feature here is to discern that there are sub-arguments within the main argument. That is, some of the reasoning here proves other claims that then help demonstrate the validity of conclusions further 'down' the chain of reasoning. As well, there is an important implied premise that links 16,15, and 20 together. Can you identify it? Here are two interesting features of the paragraph:

g. In both cases, the extra words here are not part of the claims which follow them. They help readers follow the narrative flow but are not, analytically, significant.

h. We have looked at how claims contain elements that indicate scope; normally we see these elements limiting the scope. However, in this case, the phrase even if...' extends the scope of the claim, attempting to counter any challenge to the logic by people who say 'ah, but references are not always checked'.

Moving on:

The third reason why referencing is so important is, perhaps, the most difficult to grasp. [References allow an author to obviate the need to detail and support every single premise in their arguments and explanations.]x by [relying instead on the authority of the source from which they obtained the information they are presenting.Iy [(see Allen, Smart Thinking, chapter 6 for more explanation).]z Put simply, [references are part of the way one writes a convincing argument or explanation.]22 Since [good writing always seeks to be convincing, even if to only a small degree]23\ then it is easy to see whyj [the quest to teach students to be good writers must also involve teaching them to reference effectively.]24

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