Thinking for Yourself / Edition 9

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Designed for the Critical Thinking course found in two- and four-year schools, it is also appropriate for second semester composition and argumentative writing courses found in the typical English curriculum.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Your text is the only one that doesn't scare students away. Most try to cover too much, no visuals, small print, snobbish, elitist. Students have to feel this knowledge is not a mystery. Also they can get overwhelmed if burdened with too many world problems. Humor is good in this text and hope. I like your text because it emphasizes examining your own thinking instead of only pointing out holes in the thinking of others."

"I like the current edition because of its mix of readings; it balances old and new, liberal and conservative, works of interest to younger and older students. The author is also brave in discussing real political issues."

"I like this text because it sees students capable of learning, validates their learning. I like the grounding in observations skills, working with real subjects and with photos, the way in which they are shown that they can see more than they thought at the beginning. They learn that they can correct their own judgments, and that their own opinion can change. They learn that what is there is much more there than they had thought going in. They learn that critical thinking is a way of creating, not just a matter of putting down things you don't like."

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781133311188
  • Publisher: Cengage Learning
  • Publication date: 1/1/2013
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 9
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 186,039
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Marlys Mayfield was a pioneer in the teaching critical thinking together with writing; she began developing this book for her English composition students at the College of Alameda in 1983. At present she offers her services as a critical thinking teaching consultant.
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Table of Contents

Preface. Introduction. Introduction to Critical Thinking. Learning How You Think. Discovery Exercise. Experiencing How We Actually Think: An Exercise for the Whole Class to Complete Together. Learning from Sharing How We Think. What Is Critical Thinking? Relationship to Creative Thinking. Diagram: Different Functions of Left and Right Brain. Why Learn Critical Thinking? The Habits of a Critical Thinker. Box: Habits of a Critical Thinker. Part I: BASICS OF CRITICAL THINKING. 1. Observation Skills: What's Out There? Discovery Exercises. Comparing Our Perceptions. What Is Observing? Observing a Cube. Observation and Insight. Using Observation Skills to Develop New Knowledge. Reading. Look at Your Fish, by Samuel H. Scudder. Core Discovery Writing Application. Observing the Familiar: Vegetables and Fruit. Evaluating Your Work by Using the Scoring Boxes. Alternate Core Discovery Writing Application. Observing the Unfamiliar: A Tool. The Observation Process: Sensing, Perceiving, Thinking. Barriers to Observation. How Discomfort Leads Us to Think. Diagram: A Choice for Thinking. The Rewards of Skilled Observation. Building Arguments. Observation Skills. Reading. The Innocent Eye, by Dorr Bothwell. Chapter Summary. Chapter Quiz. Composition Writing Application. Survival as a Result of Observing: A Descriptive Narrative Essay. Readings: God Grew Tired of Us by John Bul dau,Walking by Paul Krafel, Spanish Harlem at Night by Ernesto Quinonez. 2. Word Precision: How Do I Describe It? Discovery Exercise. On Finding the Right Word. Discovery Exercise. Taking an Interest in Dictionaries. How Well Do You Use Your Dictionary? Clear Thinking Depends on Clear Word Definitions. What Makes a Definition? Diagram: Definition Boundaries. Exercise. Word Boundaries. Kinds of Definitions. The Connotations of Words. The Importance of Defining Key Ideas. Word Concepts. Defining Reality. Defining Truth. What Is Critical Reading? Building Arguments. Word Choices. Chapter Summary. Chapter Quiz. Composition Writing Application. A Short Essay of Definition. Box: Clustering. Readings. Rankism by Robert W. Fuller, Nerds by David Anderegg, Saved by Malcom X. Advanced Optional Writing Assignment. 3. Facts: What's Real? Discovery Exercises. Beginning with the Word Fact. Learning to Recognize Facts. Verifying Facts. Facts and Reality. Facts Are Not Absolutes. Distinguishing Facts from Fiction. Feelings Can Be Facts. Facts and Social Pressure. Diagram: Standard and Comparison Lines in the Asch Experiment. Facts and Our Limited Senses. Reading. The Blind Men and the Elephant. Statements of Fact. Core Discovery Writing Application. Using a List of Facts to Describe a Photograph. Standards We Use to Determine Facts. Chapter Summary. Chapter Quiz. Composition Writing Application. Writing a Short Fact-Finding Report. Readings: Our Daily Meds by Melody Peterson, Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser. Building Arguments. Advanced Optional Writing Assignment 4. Inferences: What Follows? Discovery Exercise. Recognizing Inferential Thinking. Defining Infer, Understanding the Words Infer and Inference. Discovery Exercises. Drawing Inferences from Evidence. Drawing Inferences from Facts. Distinguishing Inferences from Facts. How Inferences Can Go Right and Wrong. Reading. The Adventure of the Speckled Band by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Drawing Inferences from Careful Observation. Core Discovery Writing Application. Using Facts and Inferences to Describe a Photograph. Generalizations Are Inferences. Composition Writing Application. Writing a Paragraph from Facts, Inferences, and Generalizations. Core Discovery Writing Application. Analyzing the Use of Facts and Inferences in a Newspaper Article. Reading. Tougher Grading Better for Students. Building Arguments:Inferences. Chapter Summary. Chapter Quiz. Readings. Friends by Tim O'Brien, He Fixes Radios by Thinking by Richard P Feynman, The Mistake of the Sand Flea by Paul Krafel. Objectives Review of Part I. Part II: PROBLEMS OF CRITICAL THINKING. 5. Assumptions: What's Taken for Granted? Discovery Exercise. Defining Assumption? Finding Assumptions in Cartoons, Finding Assumptions in Stories, Understanding Assumptions, Types of Assumptions. Identifying Hidden Assumptions in Reasoning. Hidden Assumptions in Arguments, Diagram: Argument with Rug of Assumptions. Discovery Exercise. Articulating Hidden Assumptions Underlying Arguments. Value or Belief Assumptions. Assumption Layers in Arguments. Diagram: Pyramid of Value Assumptions. Assumptions, Incongruities, and Thinking. Building Arguments: Assumptions. Chapter Summary. Chapter Quiz. Composition Writing Application. Expository Essay: Solving a Problem by Uncovering Assumptions. Diagram: Thesis as a Frame. Readings. Lateral and Vertical Thinking, by Edward de Bono, An Unexpected Experience by David Wood, In the Supermarket by John Bul dau, Advanced Optional Writing Assignment. 6. Opinions: What's Believed? Discovery Exercises. Comparing a Sample of Opinions. Why Do We Get Confused by the Word Opinion? An Exercise in Evaluating Opinions. Types of Opinions. Distinguishing between Responsible and Irresponsible Opinions. Contents ix. Looking at Public Opinion Polls. Opinions as Claims in Arguments. Diagram: Argument Structure. Composition Writing Application. First Option: A Short Argument Supporting an Opinion. Second Option: A Short Expository Essay about an Opinion. Third Option: A Short Essay Analyzing Three Opinions. Peer Review. Chapter Summary. Building Arguments. Opinions. Chapter Quiz. Readings. Children Deserve Veterinary Care by Barbara Ehrenreich, Facing Up to Failure by William Ecenbarger, Rachel Carson and The Silent Spring by Al Gore. Advanced Optional Writing Assignment. 7. Evaluations: What's Judged? Discovery Exercises. Defining Evaluate. Recognizing Evaluative Words. On Evaluations. Premature Evaluations. Evaluations Are Not Facts. Expectations Influence Evaluations. Recognizing Evaluations in Word Connotations. Discovery Exercise. Recognizing Evaluative Words' Persuasive Powers. Skilled Use of Evaluations. Readings. Million Dollar Brutality by Vicki Haddock, Propaganda and Hidden Evaluations, Building Arguments: Evaluations. Chapter Summary. Chapter Quiz. Composition Writing Application. First Option: Observing and Analyzing Evaluations in Advertisements. Second Option: Writing a Critical Review. Readings. I Got This Part by Margaret Chao, The N Word by Jabari Asim, Awakening from the Nightmare of Zoos by Derrick Jensen. 8. Viewpoints: What's the Filter? Discovery Exercises. Understanding the Term Viewpoint. What Types of Viewpoints Are There? Viewpoints in Literature. On Unconscious Viewpoints. Discovery Exercise. Recognizing Political and Social Points of View. Diagram: The Left-to-Right Political Spectrum. Reading. Table: Traditional Values of U.S. Conservatives and Liberals. Discovery Exercise: Learning to Recognize Political Viewpoints Composition Writing Application: A Survey of Some Alternative Viewpoints Hidden Viewpoints: The Use of News Framing. Discovery Assignment. Observing How a Newspaper Frames Its Information. Chapter Summary. Building Arguments: Viewpoints. Chapter Quiz. Readings. I Got This Part by Margaret Chao, The N Word by Jabari Asim, Awakening from the Nightmare of Zoos by Derrick Jensen. Objectives Review of Part II. Part III: FORMS AND STANDARDS OF CRITICAL THINKING. 9. Argument: What's a Good Argument? Discovery Exercise. Reading and Judging Arguments. Critical Reading of Arguments. What Viewpoint Is the Source of This Argument? What Is the Issue of Controversy? Is It an Argument or a Report? Box: Arguments and Reports: Different Purposes, Structures, and Standards. How Is the Argument Structured in Terms of Reasons and Conclusions? Identifying the Conclusion of an Argument. Identifying Reasons. Exercise. Identifying Reasons and Conclusions. More on Distinguishing Reasons from Conclusions. Exercise. More Practice in Identifying Reasons and Conclusions. Exercise. More Practice with Longer Arguments. Core Discovery Writing Application. Writing a Short Persuasive Argument: A Letter of Complaint. What Are the Strengths and Weaknesses of This Argument? Detecting Missing Information. Detecting False or Contradictory Information. Discovery Exercise: Following up on Missing Information. Chapter Summary. Readings. Illegal Immigration is a Crime by Federation for Immigration Reform, Mayday for Undocumented Workers by David Bacon. 10. Fallacies: What's a Faulty Argument? Discovery Exercise. Recognizing Fallacies. Fallacies That Manipulate Through Language, Through Emotions, Through Distraction. Word Ambiguity. Misleading Use of Euphemisms. Prejudicial Language. Fallacies That Manipulate Emotions. Emotional Appeals to Fear and Pity. Appeal to False Authority. Appeal to Prejudice: Personal Attack and Poisoning the Well. Fallacies That Manipulate Through Distraction. Red Herring. Pointing to Another Wrong, Straw Man. Circular Reasoning. Chapter Summary. Chapter Quiz. 11. Inductive Reasoning: How Do I Reason from Evidence? Discovery Exercises. Defining Key Terms. Answering a Survey on Test Performance. Looking at Inductive Reasoning. Reasoning from Sensory Observation. Reasoning from Enumeration. Analogical Reasoning. Discovering Patterns. Reasoning from and about Causes. Reasoning with Hypotheses. Reasoning through Statistics and Probability. Composition Writing Application. Working from Facts to Inferences to Hypotheses. Summary Building Arguments. Quiz: Inductive Reasoning. Reading. Beekeeping by Sue Hubbell. 12. Fallacies of Inductive Reasoning. The Hasty Generalization. The Either-Or Fallacy, or False Dilemma. The Questionable Statistic. Contradictions and Inconsistencies. The Loaded Question. The False Analogy. Discovery Exercise. Evaluating Analogies. False Cause. The Slippery Slope. Summary. Quiz. Advanced Optional Short Research Assignment. Detecting Fallacies in an Argument. 13. Deductive Reasoning: How Do I Reason from Premises? Discovery Exercises. What Is Deductive Reasoning? Evaluating Deductive Arguments. About Deductive Reasoning. The Basic Vocabulary of Logic. Reasoning. Syllogism. Premises and Conclusion. Validity. Soundness. Standardized Forms in Syllogisms. Discovery Exercise. Practice in Constructing Syllogisms. What Syllogisms Do. What Is Said and Is It True? Is There a Hidden Premise? Is the Reasoning Correct? Exercise. Reviewing the Vocabulary of Logic. Summary: The Interplay of Inductive and Deductive Reasoning. Box: Comparing Inductive and Deductive Reasoning. Composition Writing Application. Writing a Deductive Argument. Building Arguments: Deduction. Chapter Summary. Chapter Quiz. Readings. The Declaration of Independence (excerpt), by Thomas Jefferson. Letter from a Birmingham Jail (excerpt), by Martin Luther King, Jr. Objectives Review of Part III. Appendix: The Research Paper. Research Paper Assignments in This Text. Two Research Writing Applications: First Research Option Second Research Writing Option. Student Model Paper: Analysis of Two Arguments on the Issue Is Illegal Immigration a Crime that is Harming America? Glossary. Index.
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