CRITICAL THINKING AND WRITING

Criteria for Grading Final Writing Assignment
I will grade your paper holistically.
Most importantly, I will be attentive to the extent to which you have effectively applied the critical thinking skills learned from this class. For example, how well have you demonstrated an understanding of the critical thinking questions that you have learned this semester? Have you made clear the impact of your criticisms on the reasoning? (Note: this criterion is extremely important.) Have you avoided vague generalities in responding and have you avoided committing reasoning errors of your own?
In addition, I will be attentive to the Coherence, Comprehensiveness, and Clarity of your work. Does the paper reflect ambitiousness of effort? Have you avoided long, rambling paragraphs? Have you avoided making repetitive trivial points? Have you avoided grammatical and spelling errors? Are your points sharp and clear and understandable without my having to carefully refer to the original document?  Have you minimized the need for mind-reading on the part of the reader? Is the paper reader-friendly for your instructor?
Please Note:  I do NOT want a flowing essay with extra words.  I am looking for straightforward answers to each of the questions that apply what you have learned in the class.  Please COPY and PASTE the questions below into your paper, and then answer them, in the order in which I have presented them. 
 
Please Also Note:  You will see a rubric at the bottom of this assignment.  Please read it BEFORE YOU BEGIN as it shows how many points I am allocating to each questions.  The length of your responses should correlate with the number of points the question you are answering is allotted.
 
Paper Format
The paper does NOT need to follow formal MLA format as it is more of a writing assignment than a formal essay.  However, it should be double-spaced, Times New Roman 12 font. Proofread your paper prior to turning it in. The more you plan ahead, the better.
Paper Length
Your paper should be 4-5 pages (1,000-1,250 words) in length.  Please keep in mind that this is much shorter than the normal final essay I ask students to complete.  So, please be sure to answer each question as thoroughly as you can by applying what you have learned from the textbook to make your points without any extra “fluff.”
 

Questions to Answer in the Paper

After reading the article above, copy and paste the following questions into your paper.  Then, based on the article, answer each question as it is listed below.  Please note that some questions (#1 and #2) will require straightforward, formal argument-like structure as is discussed in Chapters 2 and 3 of the textbook and which you created for your midterm formal argument  — not paragraphs.  All of the remaining questions can be answered in paragraph form.  Make sure to note how many points I have allotted to each question so that you know where to focus your efforts! 🙂

 
1. What are the issue and conclusion? (5 pts)

Remember — an issue is always a question, and the answer to that question is the author’s thesis/conclusion for her article.
Remember — this has a formal setup like a formal argument.   

 
2. What are the reasons (premises)? (5 pts)

Remember — this is a formal argument setup.

 
3.  Do you believe this is an inductive or a deductive argument?  Explain your logic.
 
4.  What subconscious mental habits might the author be using that could be interfering with their argument? Explain your logic.
 
5.  What fallacies exist in the reasoning of the article? (5 pts)

Explain your logic.
Name the fallacies.
Provide at least three examples. 

 
6. What rival causes are there for the author’s conclusion? Limit your response to two specific examples. (5 pts)

Explain your logic. 
(Yes, they exist!)

 
7. How good is the evidence? Are any of the statistics deceptive? (10 pts — double the points of the other questions!)

Explain your logic with specific applications from the textbook. 
This should be a longer, more in-depth response than the previous questions.

 
8. Overall, how would you describe the quality of critical thinking demonstrated in this article? Why?  (10 pts — double the points of the other questions! )

Explain your logic with specific applications from the textbook. 
This should be a longer, more in-depth response than the previous questions.

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