This writing project includes a comprehensive application of the elements of critical reasoning that we are studying in this course. The main objective is to use the critical thinking strategies described in the course to analyze and evaluate contrasting arguments. You can preview the requirements for the final paper in the Week 8 assignment below.
This is not an opinion piece or persuasive essay. The goal is to present contrasting arguments using information from credible sources and to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of these positions using content from the course.
As you put this together, are you following the critical analysis process that we emphasize in critical reasoning? This means fairly considering all research equally before reaching a conclusion.
Your rough draft should include 1–2 paragraphs for each of the following elements:
- Introduction: Identify the issue/topic. Provide the necessary background and important recent developments. Define key terms and concepts.
- Arguments and Counterarguments: Summarize the best arguments on both sides of the issue. Include relevant research from credible sources used to support each conclusion.
- Evaluation of Critical Thinking: Assess the strength of the arguments and the quality of thinking surrounding this issue.
- Identify weaknesses in critical thinking such as fallacies, rhetorical devices, vague language, and cognitive biases. Provide specific examples of how these weaknesses appear in arguments, using terminology and definitions from the course
- Evaluate the quality of scientific and anecdotal evidence using the standards of inductive and deductive reasoning described in the course. Consider the quality of causal relationship, analogies, generalizations, and/or moral reasoning.
- Conclusion: Analyze the totality of research and offer a critical thinker’s response to the issue. Identify your own position and experience with the issue and explain how your thinking of the subject has evolved as a result of your analysis.
You must use a minimum of 5 research references in APA Style and include in-text citations in your paragraphs. Include a minimum of 3 academic peer-reviewed books or journal articles. Other sources may be used as supplemental sources, such as journalistic, government, web-based, or media sources. Sources should not include dictionaries, encyclopedias, or general information websites like Wikipedia. Consult your instructor regarding any source of which you unsure. Use the WCU Library as your best resource.