The main goal of diagrammatical reasoning courses is to prepare students to write a successful argumentative essay. The structure of the argument should be carefully analyzed, and the arguments presented in an orderly, logical manner. After the argument is fully developed, the main point must be supported by many equally convincing diagrammatic illustrations. The main idea of the argument is supposed to be evident from the diagrammatic illustration. When this is done correctly, the conclusion of the argument is clearly deduced and supported by many equally valid diagrammatic illustrations.
Diagrammatic Reasoning can be used to demonstrate the different levels of a subject, and how they relate to each other. It is not a stand alone argument; rather it is used to illustrate the various aspects of an argument. For example: if P is the main idea of this article, then H must also be a main idea, and C must be a secondary idea. Therefore, the diagrammatic reasoning must highlight the significance of each idea in relation to the others. In the end, the student should be able to draw a conclusion based on all the supporting diagrams.
Like all the other sciences, knowledge can be considered an objective entity. But knowledge can also be subjective. In this case, knowledge can be considered as subjective. Student’s knowledge about some subject will vary depending upon his/her personal experiences and knowledge. This variation in knowledge will produce a conflict between the student’s argument and the diagrammatic reasoning. The conclusion drawn in such case will not necessarily be correct.
A good example for this will be a discussion on immigration. All the facts and arguments about immigration will hold great respect and validity for every individual. However, there are many people who hold strong conflicting views as regards the topic. There are many reasons behind this. Some people have strong pro-immigrants and anti-immigrant’s opinions, while some others have mixed feelings.
One way of dealing with the diversity of views regarding the topic is through diagrammatic reasoning. Once the student has understood and examined all the possible arguments and their evidence, he/she can draw a conclusion. However, this conclusion will be influenced by the knowledge, experience, and even emotions of the student. So it is important to evaluate each and every argument presented to you.
For example, if you are told that immigration is good for America, your answer may be “yes”. But if you are told that it is bad for America, your answer might “no” or “it depends”. Hence, your answer will be influenced by your knowledge, experience and emotions. Hence, every single argument presented to you must be assessed thoroughly before drawing any conclusion about it. You must not allow your conclusion to depend upon your initial answer.
A clear example for this will be when you are arguing about a particular topic. You will initially state out what you know; but as you go on to argue, you will state out different things about that topic. There are times when your knowledge about the topic may not be adequate. As long as you do not admit it, you will never be able to overcome the diversity of information available to you. This will make you commit the mistake of confusing knowledge with opinion; and hence will make you fail at diagrammatic reasoning.