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Developing Critical Thinking Skills with The Colbert Report

Vii arguments about causes chapter 5 a causal

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Unformatted text preview: support for a generalization. B. Use representative examples – a large number of examples alone do not necessarily support a generalization. A good generalization is supported by several examples that are representative or an accurate cross- section of an entire population. C. Background rates may be crucial – several examples that represent a population are not always sufficient in supporting a conclusion. One should ask questions like are these the only examples and how many potential examples are there? D. Statistics need a critical eye – numbers/statistics can be taken out of context and provide an incomplete picture of evidence. For numbers to be supportive, they must include the number of examples, other numbers reported on the same topic, and not be easily manipulated. E. Consider counter- examples – doing this allows you to determine if you have overgeneralizations. If you can think of counter- examples, then you should adjust your generalization. Considering the counter- examples is helpful when evaluating other’s arguments as well as your own. V. Arguments by Analogy (Chapter 3) A. Analogies require relevantly similar examples – the example used as an analogy does not have to be exactly like the example in your conclusion. It should be similar like comparing a car that needs regular maintenance in the form of services or check- ups to a body that should get regular maintenance in the form of a physical. VI. Sources (Chapter 4) 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 can easily find the sources on their own. B. Seek informed sources – sources must be qualified to make the statements they make. Qualifications are based on appropriate background or access to information. Just because a source is qualified in one area does not mean the source has qualifications in other areas. Truly informed sources provide evidence and reasons for their conclusions. 6 The Academy for Teaching and Learning Excellence (ATLE) “Office hours for faculty.” (813) 974- 1841 | atle.usf.edu| [email protected] C. Seek impartial sources – sources that have high stakes in the dispute or argument are not usually the best sources of information....
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