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Developing Critical Thinking Skills with The Colbert Report

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Unformatted text preview: n 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. 3 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. An impartial source is found with people or organizations that do not have a stake in the immediate issue and who have a prior and primary interest in accuracy. Also, sources that spend their time making extreme or simplistic claims or spend too much time attacking and demeaning the other side weaken their own position. D. Cross- check sources – it is important to consult and compare a variety of sources to determine if other equally good authorities agree. Disagreement between authorities does not mean that a source should not be used rather it simply means that there is no consensus on an argument. Therefore, care should be used when determining your own position on the topic. E. Use the Web with care – since the Web allows anyone to say anything at any time, only rely on websites that are identifiable and independently reputable. If the source of a website cannot be determined then it should not be trusted as an informed source. Key questions: who created the site? Why did they create it? What are their qualifications? What does it mean if they don’t tell you this information? How can you double- check and cross- check its claims? The companion website to A Rulebook for Arguing and A Workbook for Arguments has resources and activities specific to using Wikipedia to think critically. It can be found at: http://www.hackettpublishing.com/workbookforarguments/cta/thinking_critically_about _wikipedia.html. 4 The Academy for Teaching and Learning Excellence (ATLE) “Office hours for faculty.” (813) 974- 1841 | atle.usf.edu| [email protected] A Rulebook for Arguing Anthony Weston II. What is the point...
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