Critical Thinking – PHI 210
TOPIC LIST for Critical Thinking Paper
My topic is
Bachelor Degrees are a minimum, like high school degrees were 30 years ago Today‘s
Assignment 3: Critical Thinking Paper — Draft and Self-evaluation 1
Due Week 8 and worth 50 points
Background and Preparation:
• In Week 4, Discussion 2, you picked a topic, did some brainstorming and ―starbursting‖ on the topic, and used the CAP process to organize the generated material into a rough outline.
• In the Week 7 ―Explore It‖ activity, you created and conducted a survey on the topic you selected.
• This week, in Discussion 3, you shared the results of your survey with your classmates.
• Now it is time to write a first draft of your position paper and to self-evaluate the draft.
• Please note: For this assignment you will write both a draft and your self-evaluation of the draft. However, you will submit onlay the self-evaluation of your draft. Even though you are not submitting the draft itself, it is important to follow the guidelines below, because these are the identical guidelines for the final paper that is due in Week 10.
Write a four to six (4–6) page (1000–1200 word) paper that presents a reasoned, convincing argument for a position on a selected topic. Your paper should cover the following:
1. Follow the five steps of persuasion: establishing credibility, acknowledging the audience‘s position, constructing a rationale, transplanting root elements, and asking for a response.
2. Clearly define your position and supporting evidence, and describe the results of your survey.
3. Include all the necessary ―evidence‖ for the reader to reach the expected conclusion in each argument in the paper (whether the over-riding argument or one contained in an individual paragraph)
4. Ensure that each argument in the paper (whether the overriding argument or one contained in an individual paragraph) is valid and free from both formal and informal fallacies.
5. Include at least four (4) references (sources). At least one (1) of your sources must be obtained from the collection of databases accessible from the Learning Resources Center Web page.
The paper should follow guidelines for clear and effectively organized writing:
• The paper is well-organized, and every explanation is both complete and easy to understand.
• Include an introductory paragraph and concluding paragraph for the paper.
• Main ideas should be addressed in body paragraphs with a topic sentence and supporting sentences.
• Adhere to standard rules of English grammar, punctuation, and mechanics.
• The paper should be checked for spelling and grammatical errors.
Your assignment must:
• Be typed, double spaced, using Times New Roman font (size 12), with one-inch margins on all sides; citations and references must follow APA or school-specific format. Check with your professor for any additional instructions.
• Include a cover page containing the title of the assignment, the student‘s name, the professor‘s name, the course title, and the date. The cover page and the reference page are not included in the required assignment page length.
Self-evaluation: Bachelor Degrees are a minimum, like high school degrees were 30 years ago Today‘s
Note: This is the part you will submit for this assignment. After you have written the draft of your position paper, review it to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your argument. Respond to the following questions, as specifically as you can:
1. What is your topic?
2. What are the possibly different main claims/positions related to this topic? (There will be at least two (2) possibly different claims/positions, but there could be more; however, one of them will be YOUR claim/position.)
3. What is your position regarding the topic?
4. What ―evidence‖ have you offered to support your claim/position? Have you included your survey results?
5. Put your claim/position and ―evidence‖ through the ―Scientific Method‖ and ―Proving a theory‖ steps. Are there any steps on which your claim/position and evidence do not measure up to the examination? If so, what can you do to make them more acceptable?
6. Who is your intended audience? (This does not have to be specifically your instructor.)
7. What is your purpose? What do you want the audience to do, to feel, or to think? Remember that a persuasive paper is always asking for some sort of response from the audience.
8. What words or phrases have you included to cause your audience to do, feel, or think the way that you want them to do, feel, or think? Include all of your motivational or empathetic ―cues‖ for your audience.
9. How can your position actually better meet the needs of your audience than other possible positions?
10. What more might your audience need to know before they believe that they need to do, to feel, or to think that what you are suggesting should in fact cause them to be doing, feeling, or thinking something?
11. What position that is different from yours might cause your audience not to accept your position? (Note: There may be more than one.) Now that you have identified it, what do you need to add to your own argument to convince your audience that this alternate position should be rejected in favor of your own position?
12. Can you think of anything else that your audience might need in order to be persuaded by your argument?
Once you have completed these 12 tasks, start editing and revising your paper.
The self-evaluation should be at least one (1) page, 250 words minimum. The evaluation should be typed. APA format is not required for the assignment. Include your name and date.
Your self-evaluation will be assessed based on development and completeness in response to the questions.
The specific course learning outcomes associated with this assignment are:
• Develop skills for overcoming barriers which limit objective and productive critical thinking.
• Identify the informal fallacies, assumptions, and biases involved in manipulative appeals and abuses of language.
• Analyze the purpose of organizational structure in textbook passages, newspaper articles
moral arguments, and mass media.
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