Identifying rationales

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This exercise helps you distinguish writing that presents a rationale from writing which does not. Determine which of the following passages presents a rationale and which do not. In the case of those which do, try to indicate whether the rationale is primarily argumentative, explanatory, or both. You may need to imagine a situation or context for the item to support your identification of the type of rationale. If you feel that an incomplete rationale is being offered, suggest what additional claims or conclusions need to be supplied to complete it.

  1. Unemployment is up to 6.4%. The stockmarket is down as well.

  2. Why didn't you call me? You knew I'd be worried.

  3. I wanted some assurance from you that you would be reliable. But you've ditched me again, and this time when I really needed you. There's just no way I can trust you now.

  4. Officials at the White House released memos today indicating that George Bush could have authorized torture of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay and elsewhere. Many people do not understand just how bad the war on terrorism has gotten.

  5. If the Bible is literally true, then many scientific findings - such as evolution and the age of the earth - are false. But we now know that evolution does happen and that the earth is billions of years old. We need to rethink our ideas about the literal truth of the Bible.

  6. Sheila said to tell you that she's either in the library or visiting her sick aunt. I heard that she didn't go see her aunt after all.

  7. Why do you hang around with Frederick? He's such a dolt.

  8. Amy's cheating on you, man. If you had any self-respect you'd tell her to get lost.