Time requirements: 15-20 minutes

Special features: This technique helps students develop analytical and evaluative skills, and encourages them to go beyond initial reactions to complex issues. It can be used in any discipline: students can evaluate the pros and cons of a procedure, technique, conclusion, action of a fictional character, political decision, etc.


  1. Divide students into small groups, if necessary.
  2. Specify how many pros and cons you’d like each individual or group to develop.
  3. Allow five to ten minutes for discussion or silent thought.
  4. Ask for input: write pros on one side of the board and cons on the other side.
  5. Combine pros and cons that are very similar, and count the number of times they recur to show their perceived importance.

Function in the class: Consider using the pros and cons as the basis for a debate, or for a discussion/lecture structured around the evaluation of course material.