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Training for Professionals

Like any skill, clear thinking improves with conscious practice. It is often best to start with short modules, with real-life applications practised between sessions. Competence builds early, cognitive overload is avoided, and mastery gained.

Below are our current in-company workshop offerings. Modules can be combined and workshops tailored to suit the needs of individual clients. Extended courses are outlined further down, including our open enrolment course offered in partnership with Trinity College.


Short Modules

A Brief Introduction to Argument Mapping (2 hour)

Experience and apply a process for visualising the logic behind the pros and cons of any issue or proposal.

Participants learn:

  • To separate the big picture from the detail
  • The basics of building and evaluating argument maps on several topics
  • To be aware of hidden assumptions
Grouping: Organising Ideas (2 hour)

Practise techniques for categorising information and ideas to enhance impact and comprehension.

Participants learn:

  • The key principles of hierarchical ordering
  • The basics of document planning - from email to reports
Argument Analysis (2 hour)

Apply a technique for analysing arguments in a careful and rigorous way.

Participants learn:

  • The conventions of analytical argument mapping
  • To articulate hidden assumptions
  • To differentiate between claims and inferences
Argument Evaluation (2 hour)

Learn techniques for judging the strength of arguments.

Participants learn:

  • To define evidence sources and assess their credibility
  • To distinguish between assessing the truth or acceptability of claims and the validity of inferences
Decision: Making Choices (2 hour)

Think through your decision quickly by comparing choices systematically.

Participants learn:

  • To construct a choice matrix
  • Use the matrix to make a decision
Getting Started With Rationale (half-day)

Familiarise yourself with all the functions of the software

Participants learn:

  • Fundamental principles of thinking involved in Grouping, Reasoning and Analysis
  • Practical operations for building, evaluating, printing and exporting maps
Reading Argument Maps (1 hour)

Understand how to read argument maps

Participants learn:

  • The conventions of argument mapping
  • To follow the flow of the reasoning


Extended Workshops

Argument Mapping for Intelligence Analysts (2 Day)

Practise a technique for careful analysis and evaluation of a case in a context of high uncertainty.

Participants will:

  • Be able to identify the parts of an argument in a range of samples
  • Sort out the big picture from the details
  • Be aware that a conclusion may not follow from evidence that appears suggestive
  • Be disposed to question the quality of evidence and look for potential objections
  • Be able to systematically articulate assumptions
  • Be disposed to look for weaknesses in arguments
  • Understand the desirability of maintaining only provisional belief in a conclusion
Diagnosis: Hypothesis Generation and Testing (1 Day)

Consider alternative scenarios or explanations and judge their likelihood.

Participants will:

  • Be disposed to be more rigorous in covering a range of big picture alternatives before getting involved in detail
  • Have the ability to generate hypotheses in a structured way
  • Understand the importance and nature of discriminating or diagnostic evidence
  • Appreciate how to target evidence collection effectively
  • Understand the merits of working with multiple hypotheses simultaneously
Argument Mapping for Legal Practice (2 Day)

Use argument mapping to clarify reasoning and improve your ability to communicate complex technical issues to clients.

Participants learn:

  • To map legal argumentation, making the logic explicit
  • To analyse and assess legal arguments
  • To use maps to plan communication to clients and stakeholders
Argument Maps to Prose (1 day)

Prepare documents that communicate their conclusions and evidence clearly.

Participants learn:

  • Fundamental principles of argument mapping
  • Key principles of hierarchical ordering
  • To structure prose to reflect the logical connections between ideas
Advanced Reasoning & Analysis (3 days)

An open enrolment course.  Experience argument mapping in the context of the fascinating mystery of the assassination of JFK.  Participants learn:

  • Fundamental principles of argument mapping
  • Advanced principles of argument mapping
  • To construct and analyse maps of great complexity

Advanced Reasoning & Analysis is an open enrolment course, presented several times a year in partnership with Trinity College, University of Melbourne.

Go to http://www.trinity.unimelb.edu.au/short_courses for more information and to book places.

Contact Us

To discuss your training needs, call Jane Lewis on (03) 9348 1013 or email jml@austhink.com.