Help and guidance to make your student learning experience a success!
In order to be valid, an argument has to be based on evidence. For example, we might say:
“Tigers can produce milk…”
“Wildlife brings tourism…“
However, these are not valid arguments unless we give some evidence, or cite a source:
“… Since tigers are mammals and all female mammals can lactate for their young.”
“…Wildlife tourism brought £65 million net income to Scotland according to a report by the International Centre for Tourism and Hospitality Research (2010).”
Ad Hominem Attacks
So how do ad hominem attacks fit in?
Ad hominem in Latin literally means...
There’s a common myth that arguments which are valid always have a correct conclusion. The best Critical Thinking students know better. Invalid arguments can be correct, and valid arguments can be incorrect. Here are some examples:
Invalid argument with correct conclusion
IF: All cats have fur,
IF: Pingu is a cat,
THEN: Lassie the dog has fur.
If we didn’t like this argument, we could completely refute it. Imagine an alien from outer-space coming across this argument. They could say something like:
“This argument is invalid because it is illogical. There is no reason from the...
You have spent lots of time researching, working hard to produce a top quality assignment that will be appreciated by your tutor. You have timed it well; your favourite TV programme is about to start, you have some tasty food waiting for you. It’s now time to submit that assignment and wait for a response. Hold it right there! Before you send off your assignment, save it carefully, and put it out of your mind for a short while. You will be glad that you did. Here are several reasons why:
1. Lots of concentration can make you tired, which can lead to mistakes. There may not be factual mistakes but being tired could result in...
Right now, learning has a bad rep. This is in part due to a few myths about learning (that it’s too hard, or only for young people, or too expensive), but it’s also partially because people no longer think of learning as powerful.
This hasn’t always been the case. King Solomon, known to Judaism, Christianity and Islam, valued wisdom above his riches, power and long life. The Greek philosopher, Aristotle, declared that human rationality was shared only with the gods. The medieval English scholar Aelfric of Eynsham claimed that humans were different from animals only if they improved themselves and learned. The French...
One of the very first and most frustrating things that I learnt as a tutor was how little difference there is between the best assignments and those that only scrape a pass. Often the difference is as simple as one assignment using world class sources and another one just getting by with a few webpages. I’ve recently signed up for an online course here at ADL, training me for the RHS Level 2 diploma in horticulture exams, and I’m determined to track down the best resources available!
In this post I wanted to share some of the books I’ve found the most useful, and ask if anyone had any extra suggestions for me:
A straw man argument is a sneaky sort of argument which is intentionally weak. The straw man argument is named after the human-shaped, straw-stuffed punching bags which people used to use to practice fighting against. The idea was that soldiers who practiced fighting against a straw man would have more confidence fighting real soldiers when it comes to war. But it gets a bit more complicated than that. For an argument to be called a ‘straw man’, it’s not enough for that argument to be weak, or for that argument to counter another argument. A straw man argument has to be intentionally weak in order to distort what the other person has...
For any of our students, RHS or otherwise, exams are part of your course. If you have an exam coming up, be wary of the following:
- Headaches or stomach pains
- Change in appetite
These can be signs of exam stress and can ruin your mojo for that big day. If you are experiencing exam stress, or are worried that you may be in danger of experiencing it, take a step back and destress. This can be done a number of ways.Don't Blame Yourself
If you feel you could have done more, maybe that’s true, but that’s not helpful. Don’t wallow in the ‘I could have done so much more!’...
Now that we're back in the swing of our daily lives, you may have been thinking about really knuckling down to some serious study. And if you're like us, you need a few snacks along the way to help you avoid a hangry rampage because you became so engrossed in your lessons that you forgot to eat. Never fear, here are a few snack ideas for the dutiful student!
For the short study session
You have finally completed all other jobs for the day. It's 4pm and you've got a couple of hours to go before dinner. What do you do? Grab an hour or so for study!
If you know you can only spare an hour or two for...