Statement and Argument


In a Competitive exam, Reasoning is one of the most important section. If you get good score in Reasoning test then it will help you to achieve good marks in competitive exams. You can achieve a good marks only if you have a depth knowledge of reasoning skills. Basically reasoning is divided into few sections according to logic and type. One of them is Statement and Argument.

Statement is sentence that is stated, and Argument means talking about something or showing about something which has a valid action reasonable or logically to be right.

Statements is based on different types : Social, Political, Economic ... etc.


MIND IT !

Statement and Argument is a very important chapter of Reasoning aptitude tests. Few reasoning questions in your exam will surely come from this chapter. Here in this section we will discuss Statement and Argument reasoning with solution which will help you to solve Statement and Argument questions very easily and quickly. In exam, reasoning questions can be solved very easily and quickly using reasoning shortcut tricks.

Time is the most important factor in every competitive exams. You need to finish your examination within time. But in every competitive exam they also test your calculation ability within a given time frame. They tests, how fast a student can complete a question paper. This is the reason so many students couldn’t finish their paper within given time. But if you use tricks of reasoning and Statement and Argument then it will help you to solve bank, government or any other exam paper much faster.


Classification of Arguments


1.    Strong Argument: Strong arguments are those which are directly related to the statement, do not make extra assumptions, are valid and hold true.

Features of strong arguments :

Experience Truth (If any argument is based on experiences than it will be accepted as strong argument)

Analyzed Truth (Decision taken by Govt, supreme court, United Nations, Constitutional body or any other supreme authority)

Universal Truth (Scientifically established, Universally accepted and cannot be denied)

2.    Weak Argument: Weak arguments are those which not related to the statement directly, may make unjustifiable assumptions, are false, vague or invalid.

Features of weak arguments

Simple (If argument is simple and even if it is related to given statement but due to lack of proper argumentation or sentence is emulation anything then it can not accepted)

Opinion based (personal suggestions personal opinion that kind of argument cannot be accepted)

Ambiguous (The arguments which creates confusion and taken as weak argument)

Superfluous (that can never be accepted)

The main target is to find whether the argument is strong or weak.

Example:

Statement: Are nuclear families better than joint families?

Arguments:

I.  No. Joint families ensure security and also reduce the burden of work.

II.  Yes. Nuclear families ensure greater freedom.

With so many people around in a joint family, there is more security. Also, work is shared. Again, in nuclear families, there are lesser number of people and so lesser responsibilities and more freedom. Both arguments are Strong.


To determine the strength of an argument, one has to follow a methodical way which is explained below.

PRELIMINARY SCREENING

In this stage, the given arguments are read superficially certain arguments are so obvious that they can be eliminated in one glance. Read the argument & discard it if is:

  1. Ambiguous
  2. Disproportionate
  3. Irrelevant
  4. Comparative
  5. Simplistic


Ambiguous

The argument should have clarified in the reason suggested in it. The argument should be contextual & express its support or opposition to the given statement in explicit terms.

Example-

Statement- Should India wage war against Pakistan?

Argument- No, both India & Pakistan are at fault.

Analysis:-

Here, though the argument refers to the subject in the statement, it has no clarity. We cannot find out what the argument wants to say. Thus, the argument is ambiguous.


Disproportionate

The reasons given in the argument, in support or against the given statement, should be comparable to the magnitude of the situation given in the statement. It should be neither same as “trying to kill an elephant with a needle” nor “trying to kill a mosquito with a sword”.

Example-

Statement- Should every citizen be asked to use only pencil to write instead of pen?

Argument- Yes, usage of pencil leads to reduction in wastage off paper. This helps in protection of environment.

Analysis:-

The argument links usage of pencil to protection of environment, because errors can be rectified on the same paper instead of using a new paper & hence wastage of paper can be reduced. This measure, in practice, makes little difference to the environment; hence, the argument is rejected.


Irrelevant

The argument should relate its reasoning to the context given in the statement.

Example-

Statement- Should the syllabus for primary classes be reduced, to enable the students to understand the concepts piece meal?

Argument-

1) No, it gives more leisure to students, which may lead to juvenile delinquency.

2) No, the syllabus should include subjects that help in increasing IQ levels of students.

Analysis:-

In the given statement, a course of action is suggested to achieve the ultimate aim of enabling students to understand the subjects better. The arguments should base their reasoning as to whether the suggested action results in achievement of the ultimate aim or not. The reason given in argument (1) is out of context when compared to the statement. Hence, this argument is irrelevant.

Argument (2) has relevance to the above statement as it reasons on the same lines as the statement. The statement should include whatever it wants to achieve through the suggested course of action.


Comparative

The argument should suggest why or why not the planned action be implemented, basing on favourable or adverse results that follow after implementation. But it should not support or deny the suggestion, because such action has been taken up or not taken up elsewhere.

Example-

Statement- Should India reforms its taxation policy?

Argument-

1) Yes, it helps in rationalization of taxes.

2) Yes, many countries are doing so.

Analysis:-

Argument (1) is a valid argument because it is based on a positive result that would follow the suggested action.

Argument (2) is not based on any resulting effect of the suggested action. It is only comparing with other countries. Others may have their own reasons for taking up such measures. Hence, this is not a valid argument.


Simplistic

These kinds of arguments, though they are related to the statements, make a simple assertion or there is no substantiation to strengthen the argument.

Example:-

Statement- Should India wage war against Pakistan?

Argument:-

1) Yes, it should be done immediately.

2) No, it is not going to help.

Analysis:-

Argument (1) simply suggests that it should be done immediately, but does not give any reason as to why it should be done. Hence, this argument is too simple.

Argument (2) does not show how it is not going to help. Of course, it has shown a reason why such an action should not be taken up, but does not dwell deep into the reason. Hence, the argument (2) is also simplistic.


TIPS on cracking Reasoning Questions on Statements and Arguments


Tip #1: Arguments with unjustifiable assumptions are weak

Statement: Should the education at all levels be offered only in vernacular medium?

Arguments:

I.  Yes. This is the only way to enhance performance of the students.

II. No. This will severely affect acquiring knowledge for want of good text books in vernacular medium.


A. Only argument I is strong            

B. Only argument II is strong

C. Either I or II is strong                  

D. Neither I nor II is strong

E. Both I and II are strong

Solution:

In (I) it is assumed that offering education in vernacular is the only way to enhance performance of the students. But, this assumption is not justifiable. Hence (I) is weak.

Argument (II) is strong since offering books in English or other languages would open up more avenues for Students.

So the correct answer is B.

Statement: Should girls learn arts like judo and karate?

Arguments:

(I)  Yes. It will enable them to defend themselves from rogues and ruffians.                   

(II) No. They will lose their feminine grace.

Solution:

Learning martial arts is necessary for girls for self-defense. So, argument (I) is strong.

In argument (II), it is assumed without justification that martial arts will impact feminine grace.

Thus, the answer will be A.


Tip #2: If an argument is not scientific or contradicts your general knowledge or goes against research by reputed organizations, it is weak

Statement: Should books by only deserving authors be published?

Arguments:

(I)  Yes. It will save a lot of paper which is in short supply.

(II) No. It is not possible to draw a line between the deserving and the undeserving.


A. Only argument I is strong            

B. Only argument II is strong

C. Either I or II is strong                  

D. Neither I nor II is strong

E. Both I and II are strong

Solution:

Argument (I) says that paper is in short supply. But, this is not something we have ever heard in the news. It is contradictory to our general knowledge and is therefore weak.

Argument (II) is a strong argument because establishing committees to control the publishing of books would be against freedom of speech. Such committees would also be partial and have their own agendas.

So the correct answer is B.


Tip #3: Arguments that are illogical and unrelated to the statement are weak

Statement: Should all the school teachers be debarred from giving private tuitions?

Arguments:

(I)  No. The needy students will be deprived of the expertise of these teachers.

(II) Yes. This is an injustice to the unemployed educated people who can earn their living by giving tuitions.

(III) Yes. Only then the quality of teaching in schools will improve.

(IV) Yes. Now salary of these teachers is reasonable.


A. Only I and III are strong   

B. Only I, II and III are strong

C. Only III and IV are strong 

D. Only II, III and IV are strong       

E. None of these

Solution:

Argument (I) is weak because needy students will not be deprived of their education in schools, if those teachers also offer private tuitions on the side.

Argument (II) is weak because other unemployed individuals can also hold private tuitions if they are capable of doing so.

Argument (III) is strong. There could be a tendency for teachers to reduce their efforts in schools to encourage more students to join their private tuition classes.

Argument (IV) is weak. By what standards can anyone decide to stop a worker from seeking further employment by deciding that their salary is already reasonable?

Thus, the correct answer is E.

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