Healthcare and Medicine Reference
In-Depth Information
Table 2.1
The Medical Article as an Exercise in Argumentation
What It Does
1. Argument as a whole
Structured path from an
initial idea, across series of
considerations (building
blocks), leading to a
conclusion (claim)
confirming, rejecting, or
modifying the triggering
thought about the
Defines the problem in
context (structured
question, hypothesis,
setting), gathers and
critically appraises each
argument building block
with attention to a proper
connection between them,
up to the final claim.
It is the article as a whole.
2. Problem in context or thesis
An ensemble that includes
to varying degrees
hypothesis, research
question(s), setting, study
objectives, initial
impression of the problem
under study. A “what
exactly is the question”
Proposes an original
operational and structured
idea to be evaluated by an
argument process.
To be meaningful and
useful for interpretation,
the original idea must be
supported by a clear
hypothesis, research
question, setting of the
objective(s) of the critical
process of argument
building, analysis, and
evaluation. It is usually in
the “Introduction” section.
3. Claim
Conclusion drawn by the
end of reasoning path
(argument); thesis drawn
from or evaluated by the
study. A “what do we think
about it” statement.
Confirms or modifies the
thesis initiating the
argument; generates a new
thesis from findings.
Factual : Does it exist, what
is, was, or will be?
Definitional: : What is it,
how can it be classified?
Causal : What caused it,
what will it produce?
Value asserting : Is it
harmful or beneficial?
Good or bad?
Policy/direction giving :
What we should do.
It is in the “Title” and at the
core of the “Conclusions”
of the article.
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