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Question

FOURTH argument to critically assess

For your fourth argument to critically

evaluate, use the newspaper editorial which you critically evaluated for Quiz 1.

Make sure that you submit a link to the editorial or paste the editorial into your analysis. The page count of the pasted editorial does not count as part of the required 4 page


When you did that evaluation, you did not know the tools for critically evaluating an argument. Now that you know the tools, and have had practice using them, apply them to that newspaper editorial. You need to do two things:


(i) Diagram the newspaper editorial, discuss loopholes for each subargument and discuss fallacies for the argument as a whole. Do NOT use every sentence in the editorial in your diagram of the argument structure. You will probably have to summarize the information in several sentences in a single sentence, using your own words. You may have to do this several times (especially if the editorial is lengthly). 2 page for part (i)

(ii) Discuss the difference between your first evaluation (in Quiz 1) and your present evaluation (using critical thinking tools). For instance, here is one question which could be used to describe the difference: Was your first evaluation primarily concerned with whether the statements (not including the conclusion) in the editorial were true? 2 page for part (ii) 

Total: 4


  Quiz 1: Critical Evaluation

The New York Times editorial " College Applications That Cross a Line" discusses the effect of having a criminal record and trying to apply for college. The conclusion of this editorial is how the Obama administration wants colleges to not make admission decisions based on a person's criminal record. There are many premises in this editorial that agree with the conclusion. The arguments in this editorial agree with the conclusion because of people with criminal convictions who want to better themselves deserve a second chance and should be allowed to go to the college of their own choice. One argument is that many colleges, during their application process, ask for any criminal convictions a person had made. In the past, a lot of schools have turned away a person because of a criminal record. I feel there is an extent where a person's criminal record may not allow them to get into a college. One example, if someone committed a murder in the past 3 years or if they committed drug-related crimes in the past 3 years than they may cause a problem for a university.

           The editorial states that "research suggests that colleges that admit students with criminal histories are no less safe than others." this is a true argument because most campus crimes happen because of outsiders or students that have never committed a crime in the past. Just because a school admits a student that was once a criminal, does not mean that they are going to commit another crime. It is possible that they could commit one, but a person is not going to pay a ton of money for college just to commit a crime and throw all that money away.

           On college applications they are asked about a person's criminal record, this excludes minor offenses but includes disciplinary violations such as probation or suspension and expulsion that occurred in a person's high school education. A suspension should not be considered a criminal record unless that person was in jail. This argument agrees with the conclusion because it is unfair that a person should be denied from a college because a suspension from high school could be considered a criminal conviction. Therefore, colleges should not ask for criminal records and if they feel the need to then they should ask for them after the initial application process.

           The argument that discusses getting rid of the question about criminal convictions on college applications agrees with the conclusion because the Obama administration wants to get rid of that altogether. This editorial would be considered a top argument because of all of the premises in this editorial do support the conclusion. All in all, the premises in this editorial do not doubt the conclusion and make these strong arguments.

                                               






Critical Evaluation Method

When critically evaluating an editorial, there are different methods to do so. after reading chapter 1 in the textbook, I was able to understand what I needed to pick out while reading my editorial to help me evaluate it. My first step was to determine what the editorial was trying to point out. That was how I was able to determine the conclusion which is how the Obama administration wants colleges to not make admission decisions based on a person's criminal record. After that, I reread the editorial to determine the premises.

           According to the textbook, the reasons that argue the conclusion are called premises. Looking at the indicator expressions in the textbook to figure out the premises, I realized my editorial didn't have many of those expressions. But I did notice that the editorial had a lot of facts and research. The first premises I had noticed was "research suggests that colleges that admit students with criminal histories are no less safe than others." I chose this as a premise because it explains real research that agrees with the conclusion. Another premise I chose was about a study from nonprofit that concentrations on changes to imprisonment which showed that people are discouraged from attending college when they have to answer a question about criminal convictions. All of these premises agreed with the conclusion and were undoubted.

           After determining all of the premises, I needed to decide if these were top or bottom arguments. A top argument is one that shows the conclusion is true and believable. A bottom argument shows that it is impossible to believe and is not true to the conclusion. The premises in this editorial are all considered to be top arguments because they are all truthful to the conclusion and are not doubtable. Since the arguments were top, this means that this can be considered a strong editorial.

           There is also another step to look for when making premises and these are called loopholes. According to the textbook, loopholes re the doubts about the truth of an argument's conclusion. This is when you believe the premises are true, but the conclusion is false. The more premises and conclusion agree and are true, the fewer loopholes you have. In this particular editorial, I found that there were no loopholes. All of the premises were true and agreed with the conclusion. After I identified all of these pieces in the editorial, I was able to finalize my critical evaluation. Knowing how to determine what the conclusion and premises were made evaluating the editorial a lot simpler.








this is critical thinking





Evaluation the New York Times editorial "college applications that cross a Line" ...

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