Your skills that you practice while studying for critical reasoning will help you immensely here. Every argument will have at least one flaw, probably several. You should think of the passage as if it was all true within itself and focus on how well the conclusion flows from the premises. Don’t question the facts. Question how well everything fits together. For example, if the passage states:
A study showed that 90% of people who switched from eating three meals a day to only eating one meal in the morning and one meal at mid-day, reported weight loss. Therefore, eating only two meals a day, is the best way to lose weight.
Instead of saying something like, “90% seems like and unrealistic number,” which actually does nothing to analyze how the premises follow from the conclusion, focus on questions like:
- What if they only lost weight because they ate all their meals early in the day? What if people who ate only one meal at mid-day and one in the evening reported no weight loss?
- Even if we accept that two meals a day is better than three meals a day for weight loss, does that really mean it is the best? What if there is a third and better option?
Each of these questions can then be rewritten into paragraphs to describe flaws in the argument. You can also describe how each flaw could be eliminated, which I would recommend because, in general, longer essays tend to score higher. Here is an example of how these questions a be turned into part of an AWA essay:
- The argument is flawed, because it fails to address the fact that the weight loss could have been a result of the fact that the two meals that were eaten were earlier in the day. For example, it could be true that people who ate their two meals late at night, may report no weight loss. In order to make the argument more sound, the author could specify that they mean two meals mid-day and earlier in the conclusion.
- The conclusion states that eating two meals a day is “the best way to lose weight.” However, it fails to prove this. Even if it successfully proved that eating two meals a day is better than eating three meals a day, it does not address any other methods of weight loss, so cannot state that it is the best. It could be possible that there is another, more effective option. In order to improve the argument, the conclusion needs to be adjusted to only address how two meals a day compared to three meals.