The Vocabulary of Critical Thinking

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The Vocabulary of Critical Thinking offers an innovative way to improve students' thinking skills. It begins at a practical level by helping students master the crucial terms that are the building blocks of critical thinking--terms such as "generalization," "inferring," "to confirm," "justifying," "assumption," and others. The book provides hundreds of short, accessible readings that illustrate the concepts and related thinking skills. It explains in a step-by-step fashion how students can perform the specific skills themselves.

Organized around nine basic skills--including comparing, generalizing, inferring, judging sources, experimenting, making value judgments, defining terms, assuming, and thinking creatively--The Vocabulary of Critical Thinking walks students through definitions, explanations, and applications of 108 words. Each chapter is comprised of four parts. The first part establishes a solid foundation by defining six or seven words related to one skill. The second part gives interesting real-world examples (from books and newspapers) that illustrate the concepts. The third part includes exercises allowing students to analyze a writer's arguments and thinking. Finally, each chapter ends with writing exercises that help students use a particular skill in their own writing.

As students learn specific definitions of such terms as "analogy," "sample," and "hypothesis," they will gain a better understanding of how writers use the terms. By studying the words in context, along with author Phil Washburn's commentary and questions, they will come to understand such vital types of thinking as assessing sources, determining causes, and recognizing fallacies. Students will improve their competence gradually, without being intimidated by abstract rules and technical terms.

Enhanced by numerous study questions, exercises, arguments for analysis, and writing tasks, The Vocabulary of Critical Thinking also features drawings, photographs, and an annotated bibliography. Ideal for courses in critical thinking and reasoning, it can also be used in a variety of courses on writing, the humanities, interdisciplinary topics, study skills, and college preparation.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195324808
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 1/7/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 651,949
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

1. Comparing
1. to compare
2. to contrast
3. to distinguish
4. analogy
5. metaphor
6. model
2. Generalizing
7. to generalize
8. sample
9. stereotype
10. to classify
11. criterion
3. Reasoning
12. statement
13. argument
14. conclusion
15. evidence
16. to infer
17. reason
18. reasoning
4. Facts and Opinion
19. fact
20. opinion
21. to confirm
22. source
23. critical
24. premise
5. Reliable Sources
25. reliable
26. first-hand
27. expert
28. credentials
29. consensus
30. objective
31. to fabricate
6. Degrees of Belief
32. possible
33. probable
34. plausible
35. convincing
36. certain
37. skeptical
38. dogmatic
7. Cause and Effect
39. immediate cause
40. remote cause
41. contributing factor
42. coincidence
43. necessary condition
44. sufficient condition
8. Scientific Thinking
45. hypothesis
46. experiment
47. variables
48. controlled experiment
49. a study
50. correlation
9. Explaining
51. to explain
52. theory
53. to predict
54. story
55. motive
56. superstition
10. Valuing
57. to value
58. priority
59. goal
60. means and ends
61. principle
62. to evaluate
63. to recommend
11. Justifying
64. standard
65. to justify
66. prejudice
67. impartial
68. conflict of interest
69. universal
70. relative
12. Types of Reasoning
71. to imply
72. to support
73. to suggest
74. to prove
75. to refute
76. to deduce
13. Mistakes in Reasoning
77. fallacy
78. propaganda
79. irrelevant
80. to rationalize
81. slippery slope
82. ad hominem
83. false dilemma
84. to beg the question
14. Meaning
85. to refer
86. to mean
87. concept
88. to define
89. connotation
90. abstract
15. Problems with Language
91. ambiguous
92. vague
93. loaded term
94. to characterize
95. rhetoric
96. irony
16. Assuming
97. to assume
98. point of view
99. context
100. to interpret
101. inconsistent
102. to contradict
17. Creative Thinking
103. creative
104. association
105. brainstorming
106. stimulus
107. fantasy
108. to modify
For Further Study

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