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indicator word is not a reliable reason for thinking that it is not part of the expression of an argument contained in the text or speech under consideration. If a passage does not appear to have any conclusion indicators then an alternative way of trying to identify the conclusion is to try inserting conclusion indicators at appropriate places in sentences that appear to be good candidates for the conclusion. Then see if the passage or speech still reads or is heard smoothly and its meaning is unchanged. There are no conclusion indicators in the following speech, but it is still an attempt to argue:

I think that Dinnah should sue the local council. They have admitted that they were negligent in not mending the cracked pavement that she tripped over when she broke her ankle and that's sufficient grounds for compensation.

Here if we try placing the conclusion indicator 'therefore' at the beginning of the second sentence ('They have admitted that they were negligent . . .'), it becomes clear that it is not the conclusion of the intended argument. Inserting 'because' between the first and second sentence (and thereby joining them to make one sentence), on the other hand, leaves the meaning intact and makes it clear that the conclusion -the claim that the speaker wants us to accept - appears at the beginning of the speech. Of course, when we write out the argument in standard form we change the order of the sentences and place the conclusion at the end preceded by the inference bar. Notice that the second sentence contains two premises so that in standard form the argument would be written thus:

P1) The local council has admitted negligence. P2) An admission of negligence is sufficient grounds for compensating an injured party.

C) The local council should compensate Dinnah.

5 So far we have only discussed explicit conclusions in which a writer or speaker expresses her conclusion directly and more or less clearly. However, there are occasions when conclusions remain unexpressed. These are implicit conclusions. They are only implied or suggested by the actual text or speech content, not explicitly expressed by it. This usually happens when the speaker or writer thinks that the context is sufficient to make the conclusion obvious so that it literally 'goes without

Why should we become critical thinkers?

saying'. This is often a bad idea as the conclusion is not always as obvious to those whom one is trying to persuade as it is to the persuader. Try to avoid implicit conclusions in your own writing and speech. It isn't clear, for example, what, if any, conclusion is implicit in the following:

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