DQ: Nature of the critical thinking process.

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DQ: Nature of the critical thinking process.

DQ: Nature of the critical thinking process.

Critical thinking makes use of arguments. In this week’s lesson, you gained an overview of what arguments are and what it means for something to be a good or bad argument. In your week one assignment, you will be writing a five paragraph essay in which you explain and illustrate the nature of the critical thinking process.

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Paragraph one should answer the following questions:

What is an argument?

What are some indicators of an argument?

What is an example of an argument?

Your example does not have to be detailed. It can be a single sentence or two. It can be informal – there’s no need to make a premise-by-premise argument. Make sure your argument contains a rational inference, otherwise it isn’t an argument.

Paragraph two should explain the meaning of cogent reasoning. In this paragraph, be sure to reference the three criteria for cogent reasoning.

Paragraph three should explain the difference between deductive valid and inductively strong arguments.

Paragraph four should explain the role of background beliefs, worldviews, and philosophies to the critical thinking process. Be sure to give examples of what some background beliefs might be.

Finally, in paragraph five, write about a time in which you used a rational argument to persuade someone. What was the argument about? What evidence did you utilize in order to make your case?

Your completed assignment should be written primarily in first person and should be 500-750 words in length. If you use sources in your writing, be sure to identify them. If you use any direct language from a source, be sure to place those words in quotation marks.

Your assignment should adhere to the stated page length requirement for the week and use APA style formatting including a title page and reference section. You should use Times New Roman, 12pt. font, double-spaced lines, and one inch margins. A description of APA style and the APA template can be found under the Assignments link in the left hand navigation menu of the course.

You must proofread your paper. But do not strictly rely on your computer’s spell-checker and grammar-checker; failure to do so indicates a lack of effort on your part and you can expect your grade to suffer accordingly. Papers with numerous misspelled words and grammatical mistakes will be penalized. Read over your paper – in silence and then aloud – before handing it in and make corrections as necessary. Often it is advantageous to have a friend proofread your paper for obvious errors. Handwritten corrections are preferable to uncorrected mistakes.

Use a standard 10 to 12 point (10 to 12 characters per inch) typeface. Smaller or compressed type and papers with small margins or single-spacing are hard to read. It is better to let your essay run over the recommended number of pages than to try to compress it into fewer pages.

Likewise, large type, large margins, large indentations, triple-spacing, increased leading (space between lines), increased kerning (space between letters), and any other such attempts at “padding” to increase the length of a paper are unacceptable, wasteful of trees, and will not fool your professor.

The paper must be neatly formatted, double-spaced with a one-inch margin on the top, bottom, and sides of each page. When submitting hard copy, be sure to use white paper and print out using dark ink. If it is hard to read your essay, it will also be hard to follow your argument.

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