20.210 Rationale - Argument Mapping Software

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk>
Date: Sat, 23 Sep 2006 07:52:59 +0100

               Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 20, No. 210.
       Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                     Submit to: humanist_at_princeton.edu

         Date: Fri, 22 Sep 2006 08:45:03 +0100
         From: "Tim van Gelder" <timvangelder_at_gmail.com>
         Subject: Rationale - Argument Mapping Software

Austhink recently released Rationale, a new software package for
argument mapping. A trial version can be downloaded from

Rationale is the first commercial-grade software in the argument
mapping field.

It is the successor to the Reason!Able software (2000). Extensive
testing showed that, under the right conditions, students using
Reason!Able reliably showed substantial gains in general critical
thinking skills. Since Rationale is much improved in relation to
Reason!Able, we expect similar benefits to accrue from its use.

Rationale has been designed from the outset to be used in two contexts:
     * In education, to help students learn (and teachers teach) the
fundamentals of reasoning, argument and critical thinking
     * In the workplace, to help people engage in complex reasoning
and argumentation more rigorously and efficiently.

Rationale features include:
     * Three different map types - simple grouping, basic reasoning,
and advanced reasoning.
     * Highly usability, based on a simple drag-and-drop approach, and
using a "Ribbon" GUI of the sort which will appear in Office 2007
     * Essay Planner - a system for scaffolding students in writing
argumentative essays.
     * Templates - lots of arguments and argument schemas available in
drag-and-drop format.
     * Image export - for including high-quality argument map graphics
in e.g. Word documents
     * An extensive set of learning resources available free of charge
(soon - from within the software itself)
     * and many others

For more information, and to download, visit
Received on Sat Sep 23 2006 - 03:30:49 EDT

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