Chapter 5: BASIC ARGUMENT ANALYSIS
- Practice -
Part B


Multiple Choice:
Click on the button next to the answer you wish to select. Your results will be displayed immediately in the question's text box.

No. of Questions = 20

In this exercise, you will be given a short argument to read, followed by one or more numbered statements. Your task is to identify what role the statement plays in the argument.

After each statement, indicate:
Premise; if it is a premise of the argument;
Conclusion; if it is the conclusion of the argument;
Intermediate; if it is an intermediate conclusion; or
Assumed; if it is an assumed premise.


1 (1) Government aid to poor countries often does more harm than good. (2) The money is often siphoned off by corrupt officials, (3) used to benefit urban dwellers at the expense of farmers, or (4) invested in prestigious but economically nonviable projects.
1) Foreign aid is often siphoned off by corrupt officials
2) Foreign aid often does more harm than good.
Identify the role statement 1) plays in the argument.
a) Premise
b) Conclusion
c) Intermediate
d) Assumed
2 (1) Government aid to poor countries often does more harm than good. (2) The money is often siphoned off by corrupt officials, (3) used to benefit urban dwellers at the expense of farmers, or (4) invested in prestigious but economically nonviable projects.
1) Foreign aid is often siphoned off by corrupt officials
2) Foreign aid often does more harm than good.
Identify the role statement 2) plays in the argument.
a) Premise
b) Conclusion
c) Intermediate
d) Assumed
3 (1) Taxes on consumption, such as a sales tax, are not as intrusive as the income tax. And (2) because they are paid only if one chooses to buy the product, (3) they are more nearly voluntary than the income tax. For both reasons, (4) taxes on consumption are preferable.
1) Taxes on consumption are not as intrusive as the income tax
2) Taxes on consumption are more nearly voluntary than the income tax.
Identify the role statement 1) plays in the argument.
a) Premise
b) Conclusion
c) Intermediate
d) Assumed
4 (1) Taxes on consumption, such as a sales tax, are not as intrusive as the income tax. And (2) because they are paid only if one chooses to buy the product, (3) they are more nearly voluntary than the income tax. For both reasons, (4) taxes on consumption are preferable.
1) Taxes on consumption are not as intrusive as the income tax
2) Taxes on consumption are more nearly voluntary than the income tax.
Identify the role statement 2) plays in the argument.
a) Premise
b) Conclusion
c) Intermediate
d) Assumed
5 (1) Random testing of workers for drug use is a bad idea. For one thing, (2) the tests (urine samples, breathalyzers, etc.) are extremely intrusive. For (3) another thing, such testing is unnecessary. (4) If drugs are affecting an employee's performance, the employer can discipline or fire him for poor performance. (5) If drug use is not affecting his performance, then it is none of the employer's business.
1) Drug tests are unnecessary
2) Drug tests are extremely intrusive.
Identify the role statement 1) plays in the argument.
a) Premise
b) Conclusion
c) Intermediate
d) Assumed
6 (1) Random testing of workers for drug use is a bad idea. For one thing, (2) the tests (urine samples, breathalyzers, etc.) are extremely intrusive. For (3) another thing, such testing is unnecessary. (4) If drugs are affecting an employee's performance, the employer can discipline or fire him for poor performance. (5) If drug use is not affecting his performance, then it is none of the employer's business.
1) Drug tests are unnecessary
2) Drug tests are extremely intrusive.
Identify the role statement 2) plays in the argument.
a) Premise
b) Conclusion
c) Intermediate
d) Assumed
7 (1) You shouldn't ask a friend to keep a secret from his or her spouse, because (2) marriage is a more intimate relationship than friendship, and you (3) shouldn't ask someone to compromise a more intimate relationship for the sake of a less intimate one.
1) Marriage is a more intimate relationship than friendship
2) You shouldn't ask someone to compromise a more intimate relationship for the sake of a less intimate one.
Identify the role statement 1) plays in the argument.
a) Premise
b) Conclusion
c) Intermediate
d) Assumed
8 (1) You shouldn't ask a friend to keep a secret from his or her spouse, because (2) marriage is a more intimate relationship than friendship, and you (3) shouldn't ask someone to compromise a more intimate relationship for the sake of a less intimate one.
1) Marriage is a more intimate relationship than friendship
2) You shouldn't ask someone to compromise a more intimate relationship for the sake of a less intimate one.
Identify the role statement 2) plays in the argument.
a) Premise
b) Conclusion
c) Intermediate
d) Assumed
9 (1) Rock music is not a significant cause of teenage crime. (2) In the last ten years, youth arrests have decreased, while (3) teenagers have bought more rock music than ever before.
1) In the last ten years, youth arrests have decreased
2) In the last ten years, teenagers have bought more rock music than ever before.
Identify the role statement 1) plays in the argument.
a) Premise
b) Conclusion
c) Intermediate
d) Assumed
10 (1) Rock music is not a significant cause of teenage crime. (2) In the last ten years, youth arrests have decreased, while (3) teenagers have bought more rock music than ever before.
1) In the last ten years, youth arrests have decreased
2) In the last ten years, teenagers have bought more rock music than ever before.
Identify the role statement 2) plays in the argument.
a) Premise
b) Conclusion
c) Intermediate
d) Assumed
11 (1) Despite its large Democratic majority, the House of Representatives is becoming less democratic because (2) it is becoming more difficult for a challenger to beat an incumbent. (3) In 1986, 98% of the Representatives seeking reelection beat their opponents, (4) who could not overcome the advantages of incumbency: (5) free media coverage, (6) free use of the mails, (7) and many others.
1) In 1986, 98% of Representatives seeking reelection beat their opponents
2) It is becoming more difficult for a challenger to beat an incumbent.
Identify the role statement 1) plays in the argument.
a) Premise
b) Conclusion
c) Intermediate
d) Assumed
12 (1) Despite its large Democratic majority, the House of Representatives is becoming less democratic because (2) it is becoming more difficult for a challenger to beat an incumbent. (3) In 1986, 98% of the Representatives seeking reelection beat their opponents, (4) who could not overcome the advantages of incumbency: (5) free media coverage, (6) free use of the mails, (7) and many others.
1) In 1986, 98% of Representatives seeking reelection beat their opponents
2) It is becoming more difficult for a challenger to beat an incumbent.
Identify the role statement 2) plays in the argument.
a) Premise
b) Conclusion
c) Intermediate
d) Assumed
13 (1) The positive terminal of a battery attracts electrons with the same strength that the negative terminal repels them. Therefore, (2) free electrons begin moving simultaneously, and (3) at the same speed, in all parts of the circuit.
1) The positive terminal of a battery attracts electrons.
2) The negative terminal of a battery repels electrons with the same strength that the positive terminal attracts them.
Identify the role Statement 1) plays in the argument.
a) Premise
b) Conclusion
c) Intermediate
d) Assumed
14 (1) The positive terminal of a battery attracts electrons with the same strength that the negative terminal repels them. Therefore, (2) free electrons begin moving simultaneously, and (3) at the same speed, in all parts of the circuit.
1) The positive terminal of a battery attracts electrons.
2) The negative terminal of a battery repels electrons with the same strength that the positive terminal attracts them.
Identify the role statement 2) plays in the argument.
a) Premise
b) Conclusion
c) Intermediate
d) Assumed
15 (1) National parks like Yellowstone are valuable (2) for their natural beauty, (3) their wilderness quality, and (4) the reminder they give us of our frontier past. (5) The government should continue to maintain and protect them.
1) National parks are valuable for their wilderness quality
2) The government should continue to maintain and protect national parks.
Identify the role statement 1) plays in the argument.
a) Premise
b) Conclusion
c) Intermediate
d) Assumed
16 (1) National parks like Yellowstone are valuable (2) for their natural beauty, (3) their wilderness quality, and (4) the reminder they give us of our frontier past. (5) The government should continue to maintain and protect them.
1) National parks are valuable for their wilderness quality
2) The government should continue to maintain and protect national parks.
Identify the role statement 2) plays in the argument.
a) Premise
b) Conclusion
c) Intermediate
d) Assumed
17 (1) In nonfree countries, the revolution in consumer electronic products will weaken state control over ideas and culture. (2) Videocassette recorders will give people access to Western movies and documentaries. (3) Personal computers and cheap photocopiers are just beginning to be available to individuals, (4) who will thus be able to circulate writings through desktop publishing, (5) bypassing the control of state.
1) Individuals in communist countries will be able to engage in desktop publishing
2) Personal computers are beginning to be available to individuals in communist countries.
Identify the role statement 1) plays in the argument.
a) Premise
b) Conclusion
c) Intermediate
d) Assumed
18 (1) In nonfree countries, the revolution in consumer electronic products will weaken state control over ideas and culture. (2) Videocassette recorders will give people access to Western movies and documentaries. (3) Personal computers and cheap photocopiers are just beginning to be available to individuals, (4) who will thus be able to circulate writings through desktop publishing, (5) bypassing the control of state.
1) Individuals in communist countries will be able to engage in desktop publishing
2) Personal computers are beginning to be available to individuals in communist countries.
Identify the role statement 2) plays in the argument.
a) Premise
b) Conclusion
c) Intermediate
d) Assumed
19 (1) The communist system is a form of theocracy, since (2) the state attempts to control belief (3) as well as behavior.
1) Any system in which the state attempts to control belief as well as behavior is a theocracy.
Identify the role statement 1) plays in the argument.
a) Premise
b) Conclusion
c) Intermediate
d) Assumed
20 (1) A command of grammar is a valuable skill for everyone, not just writers, (2) since grammar is necessary for clarity of thought.
1) A command of grammar is a valuable skill for everyone
2) Clarity of thought is valuable for everyone.
Identify the role statement 1) plays in the argument.
a) Premise
b) Conclusion
c) Intermediate
d) Assumed



Created with QuizPlease
© Copyright 1998, W.W. Norton & Co.