Critical Thinking Course Outline

Critical Thinking Course Outline-4
Sometimes warrants themselves require backing by evidence and reasoning.Argument Structure The simplest arguments present only a main claim, which is directly backed with evidence: George must be a vegetarian. More complex arguments present a main claim supported by subclaims.

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For instance, a writer or speaker may simply list several reasons why a claim is true: You should consider buying a Funkster guitar.

They sound great, they're very playable, and they're a good buy for the money.

(L) Guiding Questions Identify a broadly defined topic relevant to the course (e.g., the ethics of human cloning; trends in prescribing anti-depressant medications).

Ask each student to write a single question to guide research on the topic.

Facts & Inferences in Personal Experience Pair off students.

Ask each student to tell a partner (or write) about a recent personal experience relevant to the course.Ask them to underline every fact presented in the piece and swiggly underline every inference.If wished, compare students responses to a key provided by the instructor.(e.g., What questions about human cloning might a prospective parent, a person with diabetes, a legislator, a member of the clergy, and an attorney specializing in children's rights ask?) Gathering Information Gathering information to answer questions, evaluate others ideas or support ones own is another important inquiry skill.Each question must complete the following: How can [a specified party] [accomplish what]?Compare students questions; note how each would influence the search for solutions. For any of the activities listed above, assign each student a hypothetical identity relative to the topic.Have the class identify the parties in the event (including those affected by it), then assign each student (or groups of students) one of these identities.Ask students to tell the story of the event from the perspective of the party whose identity they are assuming.Building Blocks of Arguments In a model developed by Stephen Toulmin, arguments have three basic building blocks: claims, evidence and warrants.Claims are statements writers or speakers would like audiences (one or more people) to accept as true.


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