**ERIC Number:**EJ1171769

**Record Type:**Journal

**Publication Date:**2018

**Pages:**10

**Abstractor:**As Provided

**ISBN:**N/A

**ISSN:**ISSN-1051-1970

**EISSN:**N/A

Words to Argue By

Pourciau, Bruce

PRIMUS, v28 n2 p143-152 2018

In a first proof-oriented mathematics course, students will often ask questions--for example, "What is this problem asking me to do?" or "What would a proof of this even look like"--that have more to do with logic than mathematics. The logical structure of a proof is a dance involving those basic logical forms--such as "p or q, if p then q, for every x in A we have p(x), there exists x in A such that p(x)"--that appear in the theorem being proved, and at various stages of this dance these basic logical forms are either being proved or used. How does one prove a statement of the form "There exists x in A such that p(x)?" How does one "use" a statement of the form "For every x in A we have p(x)?" We introduce particular "proving and using words" that encourage the fledgling mathematics major to pay attention to these sorts of questions and to the logical structure of proofs in general.

Descriptors: Mathematical Logic, Problem Solving, Undergraduate Students, Majors (Students), Word Problems (Mathematics)

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**Publication Type:**Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive

**Education Level:**Higher Education

**Audience:**N/A

**Language:**English

**Sponsor:**N/A

**Authoring Institution:**N/A

**Grant or Contract Numbers:**N/A