Analyzing an Argument on the GED Reasoning Through Language Arts Test

By Achim K. Krull, Murray Shukyn

Part of GED Reasoning Through Language Arts Test For Dummies Cheat Sheet

The GED Reasoning Through Language Arts (RLA) test may present you with questions that challenge your ability to analyze an argument. In addition, one of the main components of the test is an Extended Response, in which you must analyze two arguments, choose the one that’s most persuasive, and explain why by writing your own essay. To analyze an argument, take the following steps:

  1. Skim the passage and write down the main idea.

    What is the author trying to persuade the reader to think or do?

  2. Read the passage closely with the main idea in mind to identify premises leading to a conclusion.

    What premises (claims) does the author make that lead to the conclusion, the main idea? Write down the premises.

  3. Following each premise, jot down a list of evidence the author presents to support each premise.

    Note any claims the passage makes without supporting them.

  4. Evaluate the premises to determine whether they lead logically to the conclusion.

  5. Evaluate the evidence to determine whether it’s sufficient to prove each premise.

  6. Ask yourself whether the passage addressed possible objections to the argument.

    Did the author do a good job of addressing possible objections?