Developing Critical Thinking Skills with The Colbert Report

Evaluating sources the colbert report does a segment

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Unformatted text preview: g Excellence (ATLE) “Office hours for faculty.” (813) 974- 1841 | atle.usf.edu| atle@usf.edu B. Develop your ideas in a natural order – since short arguments are developed in one or two paragraphs, you should put your conclusion first then follow with your premises. However, it may be just as effective to give your premises and then draw conclusions. Either way, it is about developing your ideas in an order that seems logical and natural. C. Start from reliable premises – if your premises are weak, then your conclusion and argument will be weak. D. Be concrete and concise – avoid abstract, vague, and general terms…be as specific as possible. E. Build on substance not overtone – in other words, offer actual reasons not emotionally loaded words. F. Use consistent terms – a short argument usually has a single theme or thread that carries one idea through several steps. Carefully choose clear terms and use those terms again and again throughout the argument. To further student understanding, you could give an out of class assignment that has students find a clip of The Colbert Report and analyze the argument in a one page critical analysis and present it to the class. If the class is too large for individual presentations, students could be divided into groups. If possible, each group member could show their clip to the group and discuss it. Evaluating sources – The Colbert Report does a segment called the Word. In the following clip, the Word is Wikiality: http://www.colbertnation.com/the- colbert- report- videos/72347/july- 31- 2006/the- word- - - wikiality. Have students watch the clip and evaluate Colbert’s report on Wikipedia. Once students have discussed the clip, the discussion can turn to ways to find informed, credible sources, what they would like, and how you know when a source is a good source. This activity would work nicely with a lecture on citations. The chapter on Sources in A Rulebook for Arguing provides a nice summary of the rules one should use when choosing their sources. The following is a short summary of the rules in the chapter: A. Cite your sources – information that is not generally known should have a citation. All citations should have the same basic information regardless of style: enough so that others ca...
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