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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

2,783 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!


Jun 10, 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.

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576 - 600 of 734 Reviews for Think Again I: How to Understand Arguments

By Dore B

Jun 9, 2020

This was a very challenging course. Most online courses feel very basic and take far less time than expressed in the course details but this one has legitimately taken the full 4 weeks. It made me think philosophically about the structure of arguments and from a English language perspective to understand the premises and conclusions as well as the underlying assumptions to enable arguments to be interrogated.

By Nick G

Jan 9, 2018

Professor Armstrong can be a bit long-winded at times, but the course is still engaging and worthwhile. The frequent use of pop quizzes helps to break up the monotony and apply concepts to real, if often lighthearted, arguments. I plan to continue on with the remaining 3 courses so that I can better separate the wheat from the chaff in my own beliefs as well as those of others.

By Barbara L

Aug 15, 2020

This is a rather difficult course to follow. It requires lots of logic and reasoning which can get you lost along the way. However, if you stick to it, it all gets tied together and starts to make a lot of useful sense. I will definitely be able to identify the structure of arguments better in the future based on my understanding of the concepts learned in this course.

By Niki F

May 23, 2020

Towards the end, it got a bit confusing and difficult, but I enjoyed the challenge! The professor was definitely entertaining and you could tell he enjoyed teaching this subject. I also enjoyed the philosophical touches of, "Why are we doing this in the first place?" every so often. I definitely came out learning more than what I had expected to learn.

By Susana M A V

Jul 6, 2022

This course would have been great for when I was writing my PhD thesis. The course teaches you to determine the function of each word within the argument and deconstruct it to understain the train of thought of the arguer. Sometimes it borderlines with Philosophy and Semantics , but overall it's easy to unsderstand with Logic.

By Cindi A

Jun 8, 2020

Very challenging! Which is not a bad thing, I hope to be challenged by the courses I take. Unfortunately, I do feel that I would have to take the course again in order to move on to the next course in this series. The instructor is engaging, and I will definitely consider re-watching the videos in order to clarify any gaps.

By Cliff S

Sep 11, 2016

This is one of the better courses on Cousera. The instructors are passionate, the material is challenging, but well explored and it is one of the most practical courses on logic as it talks about how to form and interpret practical arguments.

The only real downside is lack of interaction from mentors/ta's in the forum.

By John C B

Oct 5, 2021

Walter is the type of instructor I'd like to have a beer with. I was not able to meet instructor Ram, yet I'm sure I'll do it eventually. When I run for public office I will credit my time with these teachers and my classmates in public forum as a real reason for my success, yet most importantly my humility.

By Lam A T

Mar 21, 2020

I find this course somewhat challenging to and difficult to get a hold of it , but the course is very engaging , the professor made it clear and easy to understand , overall this course really help me improve my understanding a logic of arguments and how important it is to know what kind you getting in .

By Renato M P C

Nov 7, 2017

Very nice course! Actually learned a lot from these guys.

Pros: nice content, easy language, freedom to do it at will.

Cons: some videos are longer than necessary and some mixed up subs. But nothing largely demeaning.

Give it a try if you want to improve your communication skills :)

By Amitabh S

May 4, 2020

Initially, you might be overwhelmed. But stay on course and complete this course cause you will never look at a passage or a conversation like before. A slightly difficult topic which has been explained very well by Walter and with good humour. Thank you and enjoyed the course.

By Edward L

Sep 5, 2020

Prof. Sinnott-Armstrong is lively, and his lectures are captivating. The course material is also crafted. Perhaps having more exercises and some optional extra readings would have made it even better. Looking forward to the next part of the course!

By Matthew A

Dec 24, 2019

A very well-crafted intro to analysis of arguments. From how people try to convince others to deconstructing why they are right or wrong. The only downside is that the Close Analysis quizzes are a bit user-unfriendly. Otherwise, simply wonderful.

By Dylan J O

Aug 7, 2020

The instructor presented the material methodically, at times a little too slowly for my liking, but he was clear and thorough. The pace of the course seemed quite reasonable and I hope to use some of it to help my students analyze arguments.

By Matthew B

Jul 14, 2020

I think the course would benefit from more complex questions, and even a component of written analysis, such as a task where we are provided with a full article to reconstruct.

Otherwise, terrific course. I will continue onto Think Again II

By Amal R

Apr 28, 2021

I know these are essentially free courses but a little more quizzes or interactive material would be good. The professor was great and I really did learn a lot more about arguments and I cannot wait to finish the entire Specialization!

By Karim M

Aug 27, 2017

Nice experience, it was my first time to do a course from COIRSERA and I like the format and technical delivery of the of the program. I would like to thanks our professors at Duke for consolidating this wonderful program.


Dec 11, 2019

This course is very useful for me, but actually it is very hard to understand all material especially the English is not my native language and must know the small different between the meaning of words and using its

By Lee J Y

Jun 29, 2020

The course grinds the brain a lot. There's a lot of linguistics involved, which can get tiresome really fast, but I supposed it's there to prepare students for II, III, and IV, which I shall continue after some rest.

By Esther M

Jan 8, 2018

The lectures were a little long but were thorough. I didn't realize this course was part of a series. I think I would like to see a more condensed version. I will have to take the other course(s) to find out.


Feb 15, 2017

Percibí áreas de oportunidad en la claridad de algunos de los ejemplos que el expositor empleó a lo largo del curso. El caso que más crítico fue el de "Búfalo, Búfalo, Búfalo.... hasta llegar a 11 Búfalos..."

By Chua C X

Jun 12, 2020

It has been good in strengthening my understanding and structure of arguments. It is a very fun subject looking at some of the small things that make up arguments. Do try this out on your own free time.

By Trystan H

Jun 16, 2021

Not a bad course at all! Even though I didn't pay for the course, I still very much came away from it learning something. The proff is very easy to understand and makes it interesting.

Thank you!

By Pablo E

Jan 3, 2018

A structured way to make and understand arguments. I recommend it. Advice for future students: Pay strong attention in the lectures to the concepts of validity, soundness and argument markers.

By Daniel M

Jul 4, 2020

It was something completely new to me. I had a bit of a rough time understanding to begin with, but pushed through. Glad I did. I'll be continuing with the remaining four soon. Great stuff.