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Critical thinking analysis, issues & contentions
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Critical thinking analysis, issues & contentions


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  • 1. Critical Thinking Issues, Analysis and Contentions
  • 2. What is critical thinking?
    • Critical thinking is the ability to think clearly and rationally.
    • It involves asking question to create new ideas, solve problems and make decisions.
    • Critical thinkers deal with validity. A critical thinker is willing to challenge his or her beliefs.
    • Critical thinkers go beyond what is obvious and are able to: look for proof, examine problems, are able to reject information that is incorrect or irrelevant, look for evidence to support assumption and beliefs and so on .
  • 3. Developing critical thinking skills
    • A critical thinker is logical, and open minded.
    • Critical thinkers
    • -> pay attention to detail
    • -> consider different points of view
    • -> develop an understanding of an issue
    • A critical thinker will
    • -> analyze a task
    • -> determine if the position is persuasive
    • -> support an argument with evidence
  • 4. What are claims? Claims are statements of controversy for the purpose of argument. A claim is the main point. You can find the claim by asking, “What is it that you are trying to prove or convince others of?”
  • 5. Asking questions
    • There are three types of questions we can ask:
      • Factual questions - ask for straightforward information that does not need personal explanation.
      • Interpretive questions - have more than one valid answer, but they still must provide evidence.
      • Opinion questions - asks the respondent what they personally think of or about something.
  • 6. Things to keep in mind
    • Whenever you don't understand something, ask a question for clarification.
    • Critical thinkers need to know the right questions to ask.
    • Questions to keep in mind:
    • Is there a more important question we should be addressing? What information do we need to answer the question? What is our point of view? Do we need to consider another?
  • 7. Issues
    • An issue is a point that is or might be debated, or wondered about.
    • Every argument has an issue.
  • 8. Critical thinking and issues
    • Critical thinking is clear thinking about issues.
    • It involves identifying the issue, recognizing what positions people are taking on that issue, and understanding the arguments for and against those positions.
    • Issues can usually be stated so that they begin with “whether”: Whether you should buy a laptop, or whether you should buy any laptop at all.
  • 9. Characteristics of Issues
    • Issues are express as questions, but not all questions are considered as issues.
    • Issues can be introduced by either the pro or con side in a discussion.
    • There is no limit of numbers of issues a person can discover.
    • Issues bring organization to the argumentative environment.
    • Issues should be as precise as one can make them.
  • 10. Issue Discovery
    • Issue discovery is the task of asking questions and gathering information in preparation for decision making or for the argument. The first step in making decision is discovering the issues.
    • We discover the issues in many ways:
    • - Research
    • - Brainstorm
    • - Analysis
  • 11. Analysis
    • The four patterns of analysis are:
    • -> Cost/Benefit Analysis- it is a review of the pros and cons before taking action.
    • -> Priorities Analysis- neither individuals nor societies can have everything they want; pursuing one objective invariably involve trade offs or scarifies or other objectives
    • -> Programs Analysis- policies are chosen to achieve certain goals, they are continued or abandoned depending on their effectiveness in meeting these goals.
    • -> Continuities Analysis- issues are discover by asking questions.
  • 12. Types of Issues
    • All issues are not the same. The four types of issues are:
    • -> Potential Issues are all of the possible questions that can be asked of the claim.
    • -> Admitted Issues are questions brought by one side and agreed to by the other side.
    • -> Real Issues are the important questions that stay after narrowing the possible issues down.
    • -> Ultimate Issues are the key questions that, in and of themselves, are sufficient for the disposition of the claim. Ultimate issues may change over time.
  • 13. Contentions
    • Contentions is another word for arguments, for which some evidence has been provided, whether for or against.
    • A claim supported by a reason is called a contention.
    • A claim is know as a contention.
  • 14. More on Contentions
    • Contentions are the main argument that supports your position on the claim. Contentions mostly come from the ultimate issues that bot the pro and con reached.
    • Contentions become the justification for your position on the claim being argued.
    • Contentions should follow from one to the next, advancing the overall case for your side.
    • Contentions should reflect a logical organization of the arguments you are making in support of your position on the claim.
    • Contentions are the foundation of all argumentative presentations.
    • Contentions organize and logically structure an advocate's ideas as to why target audience should accept their point of view.
  • 15. Quick review
    • Critical thinking is the ability to think clearly and rationally. A claim is the main point.
    • The three types of question we ask in an argument are factual, interpretive, evaluative. The issues upon which the decision depends is ultimate issues. An answered issue is known as an argument.
    • Issues are questions. We don't argue questions we argue statements.
    • Contentions become your reasons why you should accept or reject the claim.
  • 16. Work Cited
    • Elder, Linda, and Richard Paul. &quot; - Becoming a Critic Of Your Thinking.&quot; Foundation for Critical Thinking: Books, Conferences and Academic Resources for Educators and Students. Web. Nov. 2010. <>.
    • More, Brooke, and Richard Parker. &quot;Critical Thinking Basics.&quot; Mc Graw Hill. Web. Nov. 2010. <>.
    • Sterk, Jack, and Jim Marteney. Communicating Critical Thinking. Leadership, 2008. Print.