Western Kentucky University

Tips on Critical Thinking - Tips - FaCET

Tips on Critical Thinking

Tip Sheet No. 2

from the CTL Workshop:

"Critical Thinking Skills"

by Cassandra Pinnick, Philosophy & Religion

October 3, 1994

(Tips prepared by CTL Staff) One task of college teaching is to help students develop classic logic skills. The following are elements the instructor may incorporate while working to enhance student analysis of course material.
1. Logic is a tool to use in the real world. Use quotes or newspaper articles to illustrate the argument. (In your field you may call the argument a hypothesis, position statement, topic, theme, thesis, proposition, principal melody, point of view, motif, etc.).
2 Every argument has a premise and a conclusion.
a. Identify premises by words or phrases like: since, because, for, follows from, may be derived from, in view of the fact that, as indicated by, or as shown by.
b. Identify conclusions by words or phrases like: therefore, in consequence, as a result, accordingly, we may infer, which shows that, which implies that, hence, or for this reason.
3. Understanding an argument depends on understanding the intent of the speaker or writer.A particular passage may serve up to three distinct functions:.
a. informational.
b. emotional.
c. directive.
4. The two elements of a discussion are facts and attitude. Positions may agree on both, disagree on both, or agree on one and disagree on the other. A teacher may compare and contrast positions using these elements in a 2 x 2 table.


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