Critical thinking Essay
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1. What do the authors mean by “templates”?
It means that you can use right away to structure and even generate your own writing.
2. What does critical thinking require?
It requires the questioning of assumptions, develop strong claims, offer supporting reasons and evidence, and consider opposing arguments.
3. How would you describe the difference between “arguing” and “entering” a conversation? In “arguing”, you assert the views of yourself and when you “enter the conversation”, you present the views of other people.
4. What famous argument do the authors use as an example? Martin Luther King Jr’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail”
5. Using the 1st template on page 9, fill in the blanks with a controversial topic that interests you. He claims that gay marriages are acceptable, and I have mixed feelings about it. On the one hand I agree that a gay marriage is a commitment. On the other hand, I still insist that a marriage should be between a man and a woman.
6. What do the authors mean by a “larger conversation” and how are you supposed to use it as a writer? In particular, read page 19 carefully.
“Larger conversation” helps the writer show what the information is responding to the point of the thesis.
7. What suggestions do the authors make for starting your paper? Start with what others are saying as in the title of the chapter recommends.
8. Isolate 10 templates you might actually use in your writing and explain the function of each. * Americans have always believed that __________________. * Conventional wisdom has it that ______________________. * Common sense seems to dictate that ___________________. * The standard way of thinking about topic X has it
that _____. * It is often said that _________________________________. * My whole life I have heard it said that __________________. * You would think that ______________________________.
* Many people assume that ___________________________.
* I’ve always believed that ___________________________. * When I was a child, I used to think that ________________.
9. Define “return sentence.”
A sentence that returns to the motivating “They say”.
10. On page 29, the author describes the qualities of a good summary. What are they? A good summary requires balancing the writing when the author writes and emphasizing those aspects of what the author is trying to say.
11. From each of the verb categories listed on page 37, select 5 that you think you might actually use in an argument. * Argue
12. According to the authors, why is it important to quote others? Quotes give tremendous amount of credit to the summary and also helps make sure it’s fair or equal.
13. Briefly summarize what the authors have to say about the relevant quotations. You need to have a sense of what you want to do with the quotations.
14. Give 5 examples of templates used for introducing quotations. * According to X, “_____________________.”
* X Himself writes, “____________________.”
* In her book, _______, X maintains that “___.”
* X agrees when she writes, “______________.”
* X complicates matters further when she writes, “______.”