Critical Thinking: an Introduction
When you receive your assignment, make sure you fully understand its demands. To understand how the Critical Thinking process works, you may be asked to develop either an informative or persuasive essay or speech. Each approach will ask you to take a position on your topic and develop it. For the persuasive essay or speech, you will take a side on a controversial topic and defend it. If you have the persuasive assignment, you would be well advised to develop both pro and con arguments of the topic. Although these arguments may never appear in the final version, your writing/speaking will anticipate objections following the presentation.
Evidence-based arguments are fundamental to proving your point of view. Collect many pieces of evidence before you decide to include the best, most persuasive piece of evidence in your argument. To strengthen your position, include evidence from a variety of reputable sources. Also, include a variety of types of evidence: statistics, surveys, a powerful anecdote, etc.
It seems that everyone loves Logical Fallacies. One of the most fun categories of research, yet one of the most challenging, the category of Logical Fallacies is the most difficult to include in your research. Once your ear is tuned to these verbal manipulations of facts and circumstances, they are easily recognizable in oral presentations. In written work, the Logicsl Fallacy can be well hidden. We have chosen typical Logical Fallacies, but they number in the dozens.
a. Purdue Writing Lab -OWL Find Selected Fallacies here
b. Wikipedia Extensive list of fallacies by category
c. University of North Carolina @ Chapel Hill Describes the thinking behind logical reasoning and its fallacies
Touro University Faculty Article
"Critical Thinking and Discernment: The Influence of the Abrahamic Religions" by Hal Wicke, Assistant Prof. (Ret.) Department of Speech and Communication. Touro University - NYSCAS (Copyright Hal Wicke, 2022)
Critical thinking is the dominant mode of information analysis prevalent today. Dating from the Greeks, interest in how people think has preoccupied many thought leaders, exemplified in the work of American philosopher and education reformer John Dewey in the 20th century. He was instrumental in identifying a method he called Critical or Reflective Thinking. A major characteristic of Critical Thinking is the process of discernment, a technique that compares and contrasts information until a valid outcome is achieved. An unacknowledged precursor of Critical Thinking is Judaism’s Torah study. This paper suggests that the success of the three Abrahamic religions was due in part to their insistence that disciples in their use of discernment apply a seriousness of purpose. Discernment and its Abrahamic legacy of seriousness of purpose have made a permanent imprint on Western thinking.