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D. Glossary

Argument: A series of points that advocate something.

Point: A statement or a proposition.

Premise: A preliminary point that justifies a conclusion; often there are a series of these leading logically from one to another.

Conclusion: The final point that claims to be true because of the premises.

Deductive (tion): An argument where the premises logically prove the conclusion. To say the conclusion didnʹt follow from the premises would be nonsense.

Entail (ment): Premises in a deductive argument are said to ʺentailʺ the conclusion because the conclusion is a logical and necessary consequence of the premises

Inductive (tion): An argument where the premises only suggest or support the conclusion without absolutely proving it. The conclusion may be very likely but is not logically inescapable.

Infer (ence): Mental activity in which a reader extrapolates from premises to a conclusion, making a logical leap; usually inferences are based on probability: ʺonly one airplane in 10,000 crashes, so itʹs safe for me to fly today.ʺ Inferences can be strong (that is, very likely) or weak (not so likely).

Fallacy: An illogical or unreliable argument; see ʺ10 Common Errors of Logic in Argumentative Writing.ʺ

Syllogism: A 3part argument with a major premise and a minor premise leading to a conclusion

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