Efficient reading to identify argument

Reading efficiently and actively is the first step in analysing an argument. It enables you to direct your attention to the key elements in the argument: the claims, the evidence and the assumptions.

Pre-reading strategies

Locating arguments requires active reading.

Survey and overview

Look quickly and superficially at the whole text.

For example
Using this strategy

What are the likely views of the Australia Institute?

Australia Institute logo

Click for possible answer

Human rights, environment, anti-war


Skim for claims

Skimming involves reading quickly and generally, to obtain a general idea of the content. Skim for main claims or argument.

How to skim

Scan for evidence

Scan for the evidence used to support claims. Read quickly to locate specific information: this might be a specific date, a name, some statistics, a definition, etc.

How to scan:


Now read carefully for detail by: