GED RLA: Recognizing the Signs of a Weak Argument

By Achim K. Krull, Murray Shukyn

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

On the GED Reasoning Through Language Arts (RLA) test, you need to be able to compare two persuasive passages and determine which of the two is presented more logically and has more and better supporting evidence. As you read the two passages, look for the following signs of a weak argument:

  • Statements of opinion presented as facts

  • Statements presented as truths with little or no evidence to support them

  • Correlated events in which the cause-and-effect relationship is claimed but not proven

  • Words such as all, every, none, and nobody, which commonly indicate an overgeneralization

  • Comparisons implying that two things are similar when they’re really not

  • Attacks on a person instead of the idea or information the person presents; for example, pointing out that so-and-so is not to be trusted

  • Misrepresentations of the opposing view to make the opposing view appear weaker than it really is

  • Statements in which the conclusion of the argument is presented as evidence to support it

  • Either/or fallacies, where the passage claims that a situation must be either this way or that when other options are available

  • Omission of important facts

  • Statements that indicate a personal bias or lack of objectivity