Making the CASE – Argument Mapping for Better Reasoning and Communication

The Hunt Lab offers a one-day workshop in the CASE method for articulating and presenting complex reasoning in documents such as intelligence reports.

About CASE 

The CASE method uses a form of argument mapping to help participants understand central concepts and develop key skills.  

Argument mapping is using simple diagrams to display the structure of reasoning. Developed initially at the University of Melbourne, it is now used in many universities and organisations around the world, and is taught as a structured analytic technique in the US intelligence community. Extensive research has shown that intensive training in argument mapping is a particularly effective way to build general critical thinking skills.  

CASE (for “Contention, Argument, Evidence, Source”) adapts general principles of argument mapping to the challenge of efficiently developing and communicating reasoning in organisations dealing with complex real-world problems. The CASE workshop covers the most fundamental principles that everyone dealing with such problems should understand, as well as a range of practical tips and techniques.  

The workshop is highly interactive, using a variety of creative techniques to maintain engagement throughout the day as material being covered gets increasingly challenging.  

For more about the CASE method and evidence that the training has positive impact, see Using argument mapping to improve clarity and rigour in written intelligence products – Intelligence and National Security, 2022 (download pdf).

Content

  • Common problems with how reasoning is organised and presented
  • The core CASE framework
  • Using the principle of abstraction to give written reasoning strong overall structure
  • Simple rules to uncover missing elements of reasoning, including potential vulnerabilities
  • Applying these principles to draft clear and compelling prose

Benefits

  • Improved reasoning 
  • Identification of critical assumptions
  • Improved communication and persuasion
  • More insightful deliberation and discussions.

The Training

Modality: Face to face (Canberra, Melbourne, or other location)
Context: Content can be modified to include organisational examples or case studies
Timing: 1 day (0830 for 0900 start and 16:30 finish)
Location: At the organisation, at the University of Melbourne, or at other off-site facilities
Type: This workshop is non-assessed training, but participants will be provided with a University of Melbourne Certificate of Participation
Delivered by: Hunt Lab Director, Dr. Tim van Gelder, or Dr. Ariel Kruger

Contact us to find out more