Can you give any pointers for Strengthen (or Weaken) Questions?

Did you really think I'd say no?

Strengthen and Weaken questions are two sides of a coin. In both instances, we will answer by appeal to the assumption of the argument. You cannot strengthen an argument on this test by showing that the evidence on offer is true. We will correctly stipulate the truth of all the evidence (we have to. In a world where the facts are in question, how can we ever hope to reason properly together? See the US Congress for illustration). So, if the validity of the evidence is not in question, how can we make the argument stronger or weaker?

We can do so because the argument has assumed something. So, to make the argument stronger, we'll assert that the necessary assumption is true. To weaken it, we'll deny the truth of the assumption.

Consider an example: If an argument begins by saying that Mechanical Engineering majors are astonishingly physically attractive as a group, and that therefore, they must be a successful dating population, then that argument is flawed, because it has assumed a connection between attractiveness and success in dating.

So, to strengthen that conclusion, indicate that physical attractive does matter in dating. Say something like "Typically, the more attractive a person is, the more likely it is she'll be able to get a date." This doesn't prove that the conclusion is true, but it does make it more likely - and that's what we were asked to do.

To weaken this conclusion, attack the assumption: Say something like "Recent studies have indicated that physical attractiveness is a much less important consideration in dating than financial acumen." In this way, you're denying the strength of the connection between attractiveness and dating. This doesn't prove the conclusion is false, but it makes it less likely. That was its job.