- First, find the conclusion and evidence, this will make it easier to find the argument
- Arguments are dependent on evidence to draw conclusions
- Identify the argument and generalize it
- Use the supporting evidence to help, examples should be proving a more generalized take-home message
- Prove your principle
- What is it trying to argue? If you can prove what the principle is arguing, it is likely a good principle
First, let’s find the conclusion and then we can generalize it to a principle. The conclusion is that we should use the money raised from fuel taxes on stuff to do with roads and transport. This is clearly stated in the second sentence. Now to generalize it, we can say that the money raised from one thing, should be reinvested in that thing to make it better for those who paid and used it. Simple enough. Now let’s use this to find our answer:
A. Money raised by taxing fuel should be spent on improving roads rather than on public transport.
This is forcing us to pick a side, on either roads or public transport. This does not relate to the principle because they are both parts of the same idea - transport. This is a trick answer often used because it is the answer option most related to the text, so proceed with caution when they are too similar. Therefore A is incorrect.
B. Better transport is more important than national defence.
This is not the idea behind the argument. The idea is that the money raised from taxes on one thing should go to benefit that thing. The government should spend the money raised on transport-related fees on transport. Therefore B is incorrect as it does not grasp the principle.
C. Maintaining roads should be a higher priority than spending on healthcare.
Another similar example which fails to grasp the principle. To correct this answer, we could say that money made from healthcare should be reinvested into healthcare. Instead, this answer fails to mimic the principle of money made in one area should be spent in that area. Therefore C is incorrect.
D. Profits from sporting events should be spent on encouraging people to participate in sport.
This follows the principle because the money made from sports in this case is going back into sports. They are using the money made and reinvesting in the same area to benefit those who paid in the first place by providing better services. Therefore D is correct.
E. There should be no sales taxes on consumer goods.
This does not follow the principle. To follow the principle here, money raised off these sales taxes should go back into this area and provide some customer benefit. Therefore E is incorrect.