Study Skills

The first of the study skills sessions we leant about evaluation and reflection, beginning with personal reflection. This is to encourage us to look at our progress. We should look back at what we have achieved and the lessons we have learnt through the processes of making we have carried out. We should therefore look forwards as well to the future and consider how we can alter our future to be more productive as a result of our reflections and mistakes in the the past. We should also look at our academic strengths and weaknesses as well as practical ones. This is not about what we dislike or like but should also be looking at what one can do to help oneself improve, so is also about self motivation and taking initiatives to aid future success.

The second learning point is about evaluation. This is aimed to evaluate your experience of the module(s), looking at things you have done, expressing something that is useful and looking at what was helpful and useful. Once again, one should look at what can be improved and how that may be improved. I though it was important, and useful, to note that reflection is a constant process that goes on during the course, whereas evaluation will be submitted at the end of a module.

The following weeks study skills session was concerning making an argument and how a successful argument Is formed. We looked at some examples, beginning with a very informal and loosely written text and finishing with a more complex academic text, all making arguments based around the topic of the homeless. From the different texts we could deduce several traits that make up an argument-
All arguments are a set of claims and conclusions with all arguments having a structure which consist of a set of claims and conclusion which all lead up the main conclusion. A claim is a statement or proposition which can usually be spotted by the words “is” or “are” preceding it.
A conclusion is another type of claim and is the main point to which the argument is directed. This conclusion can usually be spotted by the words “therefore” or “because”.
Most good arguments require evidence which is actually just another type of claim. Evidence is open to dispute so strong evidence can be independently verified. Evidence is what make the difference between a piece of text that is expressing an opinion and a piece making an argument, an argument needs evidence.
A good argument is a set of claims which give the reader good reason to believe the final conclusion. The best argument is one where the conclusion seems inevitable before you have even read it due to the set of strong claims back by solid evidence.
Finally, a bad argument is one that claims are untrue and unclear and the final conclusion doesn’t seem to follow on from the set of claims made. It was useful to note that there needs to be at least two claims before one can make a solid, final conclusion.


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