Critical Thinking

This week’s discussion board assignment is in three parts.

1. In this module, we’ll continue to move away from critical reading, and think further about critical writing. In the textbook, we read a sample essay, and a longer analysis of it. We also saw two examples (laptops in classrooms, and Singer’s Famine, Affluence, and Morality) of argument analysis in the videos. In your first post, please pick one of the Supplemental Essays, at the end of Chapter 5 of your book. These are “Bringing Back Flogging”, “Violent Media is Good for Kids”, “Confessions of a Liberal Gun Owner”, “Animal Liberation”, or “A Modest proposal”. In a short essay (two paragraphs, 250-350 words), give an analysis of the essay that you read. Make use of the “Topics for Critical Thinking and Writing” at the end of each essay, though you should not try to answer each of those questions, nor should you limit your analysis to just those topics. This is due Wednesday by 5pm.

2. In order to ensure that everyone gets a peer-reviewed reply, and that no student gets many, in your second post simply “claim” a thread for yourself. It may be easiest to claim someone who read the same essay as you, but it is not necessary. You can do this simply by typing “Hi, Robert. This is interesting, and I’ll reply to your post by the end of the week”. Of course, if someone else has already “claimed” a thread, then please choose another. This strategy will guarantee that no two students are working to peer review the same essay. Please do this step as soon as possible, but no later than Friday at 5pm.

3. In your third post, use the “Checklist for Writing an Analysis of an Argument” (p. 192 7/e, 195 8/e), and give a meaningful, and critical peer review of the student’s analysis. Remember that critical does not mean negative; it simply means that you should add something meaningful that was not already included in the original. If you agree, can you think of something to add which the student overlooked, or which would somehow strengthen the student’s main point? This is due by Sunday at 5pm.