Text the internal dimensions of reasoning

Chapter 3 introduced the idea of a particular planning method, which revolves around the use of the analytical structure format. Here, as a reminder, are the five steps involved in this method:

1 Decide what your conclusion will be. Write this claim out carefully, expressing exactly what you mean. Number it '1'.

2 Then think about the reasons that you are giving for this conclusion. These reasons must be written as proper claims, this time serving as premises that either explain how that conclusion comes about or show why it should be accepted. Try to keep related premises together, but as the diagram will show these relationships clearly, it is not essential to group them perfectly. Write them out, making sure that you do not use pronouns but express each claim so that it makes sense in and of itself. Number them from '2' onwards. Focus on giving the main reasons for the conclusion at this stage.

3 Begin to draw the diagram to show the relationships between the claims.

4 Stop and think: are you missing any claims? do you need more premises? have you got the relationships the way you want them to be?

5 Make changes if required, adding claims and redrawing the diagram if need be.

We can learn more about each step in the process by thinking through some of the questions that we might ask to guide us in completing each step effectively. The following discussion does not, of course, cover every aspect of all situations, but will give you a general overview of the sorts of smart-thinking 'moves' we can make in planning and creating our arguments and explanations. Moreover, although this overview is broken up into specific advice about each step of the process, the actual application of the ideas discussed will obviously occur in a variety of ways, at a variety of different stages of your research and analysis. In practice, no step is isolated from the others, even if, in theory, we can distinguish them in order to learn more about them.

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