Asking the Right Questions A Guide to Critical Thinking

ISBN-10: 0205111165
ISBN-13: 9780205111169
Edition: 10th 2012 (Revised)
List price: $56.20 Buy it from $24.00
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Description: Used in a variety of courses in various disciplines, Asking the Right Questions helps students bridge the gap between simply memorizing or blindly accepting information, and the greater challenge of critical analysis and synthesis. Specifically,  More...

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Book details

List price: $56.20
Edition: 10th
Copyright year: 2012
Publisher: Pearson Education
Publication date: 6/29/2011
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 192
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 0.25" tall
Weight: 0.770
Language: English

Used in a variety of courses in various disciplines, Asking the Right Questions helps students bridge the gap between simply memorizing or blindly accepting information, and the greater challenge of critical analysis and synthesis. Specifically, this concise text teaches students to think critically by exploring the components of arguments--issues, conclusions, reasons, evidence, assumptions, language--and on how to spot fallacies and manipulations and obstacles to critical thinking in both written and visual communication. It teaches them to respond to alternative points of view and develop a solid foundation for making personal choices about what to accept and what to reject.

Preface
The Benefit and Manner of Asking the Right Questions
Introduction
Critical Thinking to the Rescue
The Sponge and Panning for Gold: Alternative Thinking Styles
An Example of the Panning-for-Gold Approach
The Myth of the "Right Answer"
The Usefulness of Asking the Question: "Who Cares?"
Weak-Sense and Strong-Sense Critical Thinking
The Satisfaction of Panning for Gold
The Importance of Practice
The Right Questions
Critical Thinking Is a Social Activity
Values and Other People
Primary Values of a Critical Thinker
Thinking and Feelings
Keeping the Conversation Going
Creating a Friendly Environment for Communication
Wishful Thinking: Perhaps the Biggest Single Obstacle to Critical Thinking
What Are the Issue and the Conclusion?
Kinds of Issues
Searching for the Issue
Searching for the Author's or Speaker's Conclusion
Using This Critical Question
Clues to Discovery: How to Find the Conclusion
Critical Thinking and Your Own Writing and Speaking
Narrowing Your Issue Prior to Writing
Cluing Your Reader into Your Conclusion
Practice Exercises
Sample Responses
What Are the Reasons?
Initiating the Questioning Process
Words That Identify Reasons
Kinds of Reasons
Keeping the Reasons and Conclusions Straight
Using This Critical Question
Reasons First, Then Conclusions
Critical Thinking and Your Own Writing and Speaking
Exploring Possible Reasons before Reaching a Conclusion
Identify Major Publications That Cover Your Issue
Helping Your Readers Identify Your Reasons
Practice Exercises
Sample Responses
What Words or Phrases Are Ambiguous?
The Confusing Flexibility of Words
Locating Key Terms and Phrases
Checking for Ambiguity
Using This Critical Question
Determining Ambiguity
Context and Ambiguity
Using This Critical Question
Ambiguity, Definitions, and the Dictionary
Ambiguity and Loaded Language
Limits of Your Responsibility to Clarify Ambiguity
Ambiguity and Your Own Writing and Speaking
Keeping Your Eye Out for Ambiguity
Practice Exercises
Sample Responses
What Are the Value and Descriptive Assumptions?
General Guide for Identifying Assumptions
Value Conflicts and Assumptions
From Values to Value Assumptions
Typical Value Conflicts
The Communicator's Background as a Clue to Value Assumptions
Consequences as Clues to Value Assumptions
More Hints for Finding Value Assumptions
Finding Value Assumptions on Your Own
Using This Critical Question
Values and Relativism
Identifying and Evaluating Descriptive Assumptions
Illustrating Descriptive Assumptions
Clues for Locating Assumptions
Avoiding Analysis of Trivial Assumptions
Assumptions and Your Own Writing and Speaking
Practice Exercises
Sample Responses
Are There Any Fallacies in the Reasoning?
A Questioning Approach to Finding Reasoning Fallacies
Evaluating Assumptions as a Starting Point
Discovering Other Common Reasoning Fallacies
Looking for Diversions
Sleight of Hand: Begging the Question
Using This Critical Question
Summary of Reasoning Errors
Expanding Your Knowledge of Fallacies
Fallacies and Your Own Writing and Speaking
Practice Exercises
Sample Responses
How Good Is the Evidence: Intuition, Personal Experience, Case Examples, Testimonials, and Appeals to Authority?
The Need for Evidence
Locating Factual Claims
Sources of Evidence
Intuition as Evidence
Personal Experience as Evidence
Case Examples as Evidence
Testimonials as Evidence
Appeals to Authority as Evidence
Problems with Citers Citing Other Citers
Using This Critical Question
Evidence and Your Writing and Speaking
Anticipating Critical Readers
Determining Whether You Need More Evidence
Your Academic Writing and Evidence
Practice Exercises
Sample Responses
How Good Is the Evidence: Personal Observation, Research Studies, and Analogies?
Personal Observation as Evidence
Research Studies as Evidence
Problems with Research Findings
Generalizing from the Research Sample
Biased Surveys and Questionnaires
Critical Evaluation of a Research-Based Argument
Analogies as Evidence
Identifying ahd Comprehending Analogies
Evaluating Analogies
Using Evidence in Your Own Writing
Research and the Internet
Practice Exercises
Sample Responses
Are There Rival Causes?
When to Look for Rival Causes
The Pervasiveness of Rival Causes
Detecting Rival Causes
The Cause or A Cause
Rival Causes for Differences between Groups
Confusing Causation with Association
Confusing "After This" with "Because of This"
Explaining Individual Events or Acts
Evaluating Rival Causes
Rival Causes and Your Own Communication
Exploring Potential Causes
Narrowing Down Your List of Potential Causes
Practice Exercises
Sample Responses
Are the Statistics Deceptive?
Unknowable and Biased Statistics
Confusing Averages
Concluding One Thing, Proving Another
Deceiving by Omitting Information
Risk Statistics and Omitted Information
Using Statistics in Your Writing
Practice Exercises
Sample Responses
What Significant Information is Omitted?
The Benefits of Detecting Omitted Information
The Certainty of Incomplete Reasoning
Questions That Identify Omitted Information
The Importance of the Negative View
Omitted Information That Remains Missing
Missing Information in Your Own Arguments
Using This Critical Question
Practice Exercises
Sample Responses
What Reasonable Conclusions Are Possible?
Assumptions and Multiple Conclusions
Dichotomous Thinking: Impediment to Considering Multiple Conclusions
Two Sides or Many?
Searching for Multiple Conclusions
Productivity of If-Clauses
Alternative Solutions as Conclusions
The Liberating Effect of Recognizing Alternative Conclusions
All Conclusions Are Not Created Equal
Summary
Practice Exercises
Sample Responses
Final Word
Index

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