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   I. Six Reasoning Principles
1: How to Identify Arguments
2: Types of arguments
3: Put it in your own words
4: Evaluate an Argument
5: Strength & Validity
6: Idea of the Right Answer

   II. CR Question Types
A: Must be true questions
B: Assumption questions
C: Strengthen & weaken
D: Main point questions
E: Paradox questions
F: Reasoning questions

   IIII. Extra Questions
A: Extra Questions

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   Guide to Critical Reasoning Questions

E. Paradox Questions

These questions present you with a paradox, a seeming contradiction in the argument, and ask you to resolve it or explain how that contradiction could exist. Paradox questions are rare and more common at the higher skill levels. Here are some examples of the ways in which these questions are worded:

  • Which of the following, if true, would help to resolve the apparent paradox presented above?
  • Which of the following, if true, contributes most to an explanation of the apparent discrepancy described above?

How to approach paradox questions

1. Read the argument and find the apparent paradox, discrepancy, or contradiction.

2. State the apparent paradox, discrepancy, or contradiction in your own words.

3. Use POE (process of elimination). The best answer will explain how both sides of the paradox, discrepancy, or contradiction can be true. Eliminate answers that are out of scope.


Inflation rose by 5.1% over the 2nd quarter, up from 4.1% during the first quarter of the year, and higher than the 3.3% recorded during the same time last year. However, the higher price index did not seem to alarm Wall Street, as stock prices remained steady.

Which of the following, if true, could explain the reaction of Wall Street?

a) Stock prices were steady because of a fear that inflation would continue.

b) The President announced that he was concerned about rising inflation.

c) Economists warned that inflation would persist.

d) Much of the quarterly

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  F. Reasoning Questions