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Back to Think Again I: How to Understand Arguments

Learner Reviews & Feedback for Think Again I: How to Understand Arguments by Duke University

2,910 ratings

About the Course

In this course, you will learn what an argument is. The definition of argument will enable you to identify when speakers are giving arguments and when they are not. Next, you will learn how to break an argument into its essential parts, how to put them in order to reveal their connections, and how to fill in gaps in an argument by adding suppressed premises. By the end of this course, you will be better able to understand and appreciate arguments that you and other people present. Suggested Readings: Students who want more detailed explanations or additional exercises or who want to explore these topics in more depth should consult Understanding Arguments: An Introduction to Informal Logic, Ninth Edition, Concise, Chapters 1-5, by Walter Sinnott-Armstrong and Robert Fogelin. Course Format: Each week will be divided into multiple video segments that can be viewed separately or in groups. There will be short ungraded quizzes after each segment (to check comprehension) and a longer graded quiz at the end of the course....

Top reviews


Oct 10, 2016

Very good course, made me really think again. The professor is very clear on his explanations and he also made the course smooth and funny, which helped on the learning process. Highly recommended!


Jul 5, 2018

I found this course very challenging as I find critical thinking very difficult. However this course was extremely rewarding and I will be taking the other three modules in the Think Again series.

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1 - 25 of 768 Reviews for Think Again I: How to Understand Arguments

By Mauri S G

Mar 31, 2019

I loved this course. The professor is fun and clear and intelligent; the course is complex enough to hold interest and applicable enough to every day life that it will always be useful to each and every person. I personally am a retired person living in "the sticks" of the south of France (Provence) with little access to university learning. I will forever be grateful to Coursera for bringing advanced learning into my living room!!! Thanks to Coursera and to Professor (Doctor) Walter Sinnott-Armstrong...

By Trevor F

Sep 5, 2016

I do not want to rate this course at this stage but I would like to make the following comment in relation to the course resources and in particular the answers to the exercises in the optional text book.

For students who do not have a copy of the text book, providing answers to questions from the text book without showing the actual questions is not very useful and to be quite frank, ridiculous. I would like to think that the course designers would take some sort of appropriate action to remedy this.

How exactly this would be done is up to the course designers but I would suggest that another downloadable PDF document showing all the questions would be extremely useful and necessary.

I look forward to a response.

Regards, Trevor Farley

By Celso E L

Jan 4, 2019

Great ideas and excellent material presented, but, they tend to repeat themselves and extend the videos too much, making them tiring, I believe that, making it more to the point, would be appreciated by most of the students.

By Fiona E Y

Jul 6, 2018

I found this course very challenging as I find critical thinking very difficult. However this course was extremely rewarding and I will be taking the other three modules in the Think Again series.

By Charles W

Apr 14, 2019

I've taken several online courses on logic and argumentation. This one stands out by virtue of the professor's enthusiasm and clarity of explanations. Worth every minute I've spent on it.

By ling

Aug 1, 2021

Very good course and very humorous professor! Every day we are facing so many propaganda and misleading news from media, if you do not know how to draw valid and sound argument and make good reasoning, it will be easy for you to be misled. Taking this course helps you to distinguish good arguments from the bad ones, therefore, I strongly recommend everyone study this course if you want to be an independent and critical thinker!

By Ryan H

Feb 16, 2017

This is a very very engaging and applicable course, and is truly presented with 10/10 efficacy! I couldn't be more sincere and adamant in my recommendation, no matter who you are or what you do.

By P. H

Apr 12, 2020

The course material and the course itself is great. Very valuable information for someone in any career field. The teachers were nice. I unfortunately ended up having to drop the course a week in.

I was very disappointed that this course turned out not to be for me. The first couple lecture videos the instructor often pulled examples from physics, astronomy or other sciences to better explain the philosophical points he was reviewing. I am an English Literature/History gal myself and had NO IDEA what he was talking about.

It was so frustrating because I was always able to follow along with the instructor at first but every time he went to expand on his thoughts he COMPLETELY lost me and I suddenly had no idea what he was trying to say. After receiving a 33.3% on a quiz because I did not comprehend the definitions of some very easy vocab words I gave up.

Great course, great teachers, just be aware you may get really confused with his lectures if you are not familiar with basic high school/college level science.

By Rayna R

Sep 27, 2018

This course was very informative! I would recommend doing the rest of the courses after you've finished this one, because this one is mostly philosophy and grammar of arguments.

By Nicole M

Oct 17, 2019

I thought this course was about understanding arguments/disputes/how people think etc. NOT linguistics and grammar/syntax

By Sehresh M

Jun 11, 2020

I found this course very challenging as I find critical thinking very difficult. However this course was extremely rewarding and I will be taking the other three modules in the Think Again series.

By Stephen B

Nov 3, 2019

Excellent course, extremely worthwhile and very challenging for me. I used this course to help with my logic training for LSAT. I will be continuing on to complete all parts of the full course.

By Ema M

Sep 24, 2016

Interesting course. It seems to me that we have been learning to play scales before going into music, or learning the names of the letters before learning to read. I wonder how much of all this word by word analysis is useful in real life, real arguing. It is interesting, but it also adds to the difficulty and prompts abandon of the course. Like having to memorize the Periodic Table of Elements before going into the wonders of Chemistry. The Suzuki Method in music or the Silabario Matte (to learn reading in Spanish, starting directly with basic words like "ojo"="eye"), show that starting with structural analysis it isn't the only way to learn things.

By J-Man

Mar 25, 2019

Really gets into the semantics here which I wasn't expecting, not quite the course I went in for.

By Vignesh S

Jun 30, 2020

This course has helped me breakdown the structure of arguments and I think it is very useful if you struggle with essay writing as this course helps you understand the fundamentals of arguments.

By Gabriel K

Jan 6, 2020

Explains very simple things in a complicated and repetitive way.

By Elaine A H

Apr 27, 2019

Ack! I could not listen to these guys for more than 30 seconds without wanting to throw a cat out of a window. They might have something to say, but I will never hear it.

By Ayman K

Dec 14, 2017

Think again of having this course simplified and delivered to students in their early years of education. Elementary school if possible. Doing so would have a positive effect of the future of humanity in avoiding conflicts as this course have the preliminary information for a critical and healthy mind

By Joe A

Dec 3, 2018

This is a very hard course but also very rewarding. It's average Joe's antidote to chaos in a world of fake news.

By Gorgos C

Nov 4, 2018

the final test was a little bit difficult!

By dekel l

Aug 19, 2018

This course deals with being able to express yourself in an eloquent, coherent form. It will allow you to understand your claims and opinions about the world by rethinking about them using more constructive and logic way.

Excellent lectures. Lovely examples. Sharp and clear practice questions.

Recommended for everyone.

By Rui C

Dec 17, 2017

This has been an amazing intro to the field of arguments and logic. Highly recommend it. But be aware, it's gonna be addictive.

By ola a

Dec 9, 2018

wonderfully presented, clearly explained and very interesting.

i just wish there was a panel/person i could ask questions while i was watching the video as there were some points i wished to clarify and the forum did not address these

By Gaber M

Mar 25, 2018

I believe this course is one of the most important classes that I have been enrolled in. the reasons which are motivated me to do that are mainly related to the main purpose of the class. "How to think" is a class that i very vital for all the people who are working in any fields of our life. No one can do without the using of the arguments in our life, professors, engineers, lawyers, religious people, lay people, politicians, public leaders and students are in need to be a ware of this class.

I think we can classify this class under the science of the "tools science". By "tools science" I mean, the science which provided us with the ways to understand an end or a purpose. For example, to understand the science of philosophy, I need the tools which help me to understand it, so tools science help us to understand the philosophy, read the history, know our religion, ....etc.

In addition to the importance of the class, I believe professor Walter Armstrong is a remarkable scholar in this field of study. His way of delivering the information, making the knowledge very easy to be understood, giving the idea in a simple way and creating a joyful environment for the class qualifies him to be on of of the best professor to attend this class with him.

In conclusion, I, very, recommend this class to everyone is interested to make his way of speaking and contacting with people sound and true within a simple way.

By Wesley D S

Oct 19, 2019

Great class, I didn't have time to work on it and watch all the videos by the deadline but at least this remains open so I can go back and watch them still after taking the test. I was late taking it but seems they let me pass anyway? Anyway a lot of good material here, it is a long 4 weeks with a lot to learn and review even though it was my second time taking this course, thinking it would be easy was wrong. Take your time if you can they did a great job redoing this course and learning it all over again was fun and helpful for me as I debate in fb groups often and making 'good' cogent arguments is a must. So far I'm 11-0 winning all my debates so far and I can thank this class in part for preparing me to debate and think critically about a topic. I like to think I've always been decent at this but this course certainly improved my skills and recommend it to everyone. (except my opponents) :D