In-Class Claims Critiqu

This exercise was created for students to complete in class after the characteristics of a good claim have been introduced.  It allows students to practice what they just learned and allows the instructor to gauge how well the students understand the material. 


In-Class Claims Critique

Each of the claims below lacks at least one of the characteristics of a good claim.  Identify which characteristic each one lacks.  If the claim can be salvaged, suggest how to revise it. 



1. Extraterrestrials have visited earth.  These aliens are imperceptible to the human senses and leave no trace of their visits.




2. Education is important to our society.




3. The effects of the Civil War are still felt today.




4. State U. would completely stop tuition increases if it just required faculty to teach enough classes.




5. Business can curb credit card fraud by requiring before purchase three photo ID cards and a careful signature analysis.




Answer Key:

1. Cannot in principle be disproven

2. Not contestable (also not rich or specific or thoughtful)

3. Not specific (or rich or thoughtful)

4. Not appropriately qualified (completely stop)

5. Not reasonable