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Chapter 4 Notes

by: Emily Clark

Chapter 4 Notes HNRS 2010

Emily Clark
Introduction to Critical Thinking
Dawn Shinew

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About this Document

Hi Everyone, This is an outline style of notes for chapter four of Asking the Right Questions: A Guide to Critical Thinking
Introduction to Critical Thinking
Dawn Shinew
Class Notes
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Emily Clark on Thursday September 3, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to HNRS 2010 at Bowling Green State University taught by Dawn Shinew in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 47 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Critical Thinking in OTHER at Bowling Green State University.


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Date Created: 09/03/15
Asking the Right QHBStiOIlS Chapter 4 What are the Reasons Provide answers for our human curiosity about why someone makes a particular decision or holds a certain opinion These reasons can be Beliefs Metaphors Supporting statements Evidence Analogies J ustifications You cannot determine the worth of a conclusion until you identify the reasons Identifying reasons is an essential step in critical thinking Focusing on reasons requires us to remain open to and tolerant of different views When we refer to someone s argument we might be referring to a single reason and its related conclusion or to the entire group or reasons and the conclusion it is intended to substantiate Argument and Reasoning mean the same thing The use on one or more ideas to support another idea Several characteristics of arguments grab our attention They have intent Two essential visible components conclusions and reasons The1r qua11ty var1es The first step in identifying reasons is to approach the argument with a questioning attitude The first question you should ask it Why If a statement doesn t answer the question Why does the writer or speaker believe that then it is not a reason The statements that answer that question are the reasons As you determine an author s writing style you should treat any idea that seems to be used to support their conclusion as a reason Even if you don t believe that it actually provides support for the conclusion If the writer believes they are providing support for the conclusion with some evidence or logic we should at least consider the reasoning Since the structure of reasoning is this because of that because is an indicator word other indicator words are As a result of Studies show Because the evidence 1S Because of the fact For the reason that that First second third In view of Is supported by Evidence is specific information that someone uses to furnish proof for something they are trying to claim is true Communicators appeal to many kinds of evidence to prove their point These include Facts Appeals to expertsauthorities Research findings Personal testimony Examples from real life Analogies Statistics Different kinds of evidence are more appropriate in some situations than others It is helpful to develop rules for yourself for determining what kinds of evidence is appropriate on given occasions There are no uniform codes of evidence applicable to all cases of serious reasoning In prescriptive arguments reasons are typically either general prescriptive statements or descriptive beliefs or principles In complicated arguments it is frequently difficult to keep the structure straight in your mind as you attempt to critically evaluate what you have read The important point is to keep the reasons and conclusions straight as you prepare to evaluate Once you have found the reasons you need to come back to them again and again The conclusion depends on the merit of the reasons Weak reasons create weak reasoning A warning signal that can alert you to weaksense critical thinking should go off when you notice that reasons seem to be created only because they defend a previously held opinion Your strongest conclusions follow your re ection about the reasons and what they mean Try to avoid reverse logic or backward reasoning whereby reasons are an afterthought following the selection of your conclusion Outlining and defending your reasons often take up a sizable portion of your writing Writers need to be particularly attentive to their reasons at both the prewriting and writing stage A writer concerned with critical thinking considers and weighs possible reasons and then comes to a conclusion In some instances you will decide on an issue for a writing project that will require you to start from scratch with your research In other circumstances you will start a research project with some background knowledge It may be tempting to think you do not need to conduct more research but you should reconsider Even if you have researched the topic in the past you should still explore other possible reasons You might have not have used critical thinking for the previous knowledge You may have also conducted your research informally Your previous research might even not be the most uptodate If you issue explores a political or social subject in current events always start with major news publications Many newspapers provide free access to at least a portion of their articles on their Web sites Nearly every field of interest has major publications By taking the time to explore several major publications that cover your issue you can Update yourself on the current discussions Learn what issues other writers have found intriguing or controversial Uncover more research or topics for research When you are writing or speaking you should keep your audience foremost in your thoughts Make sure you display your reasons openly Help out your reader find your reasons by employing indicator words and phrases with in your sentences Another way to help your reader identify your reasoning is to give them a blueprint You can outline what is to come by concisely introducing your reasons early in your writing


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