Asking the Right Questions

Asking the Right Questions : A Guide to Critical Thinking

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Description

Used in a variety of courses in various disciplines, Asking the Right Questions helps bridge the gap between simply memorizing or blindly accepting information, and the greater challenge of critical analysis and synthesis. Specifically, this concise text teaches how to think critically by exploring the components of arguments--issues, conclusions, reasons, evidence, assumptions, language--and on how to spot fallacies and manipulations and obstacles to critical thinking.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 192 pages
  • 152 x 228 x 10mm | 263g
  • Pearson
  • Boston, MA, United States
  • English
  • 10th edition
  • 0205111165
  • 9780205111169
  • 445,864

Table of contents

Preface

Key ongoing features of Asking the Right Questions

The special features of this new edition





Chapter 1: What are the Issue and the Conclusion?

Kinds of Issues

Searching for the Issue

Searching for the Author's or Speaker's Conclusion

USING THIS CRITICAL QUESTION

Clues to Discovery: How to Find the Conclusion

Critical Thinking and Your Own Writing and Speaking

Narrowing Your Issue Prior to Writing

Practice Exercises

Sample Responses



Chapter 2: What Are the Reasons?

Initiating the Questioning Process

Words that Identify Reasons

Kinds of Reasons

Keeping the Reasons and Conclusions Straight

USING THIS CRITICAL QUESTION

Critical Thinking and Your Own Writing and Speaking

Practice Exercises

Sample Responses



Chapter 3: What Are the Value and Descriptive Assumptions?

General Guide for Identifying Assumptions

Value Conflicts and Assumptions

From Values to Value Assumptions

Typical Value Conflicts

The Communicator's Background as a Clue to Value Assumptions

Consequences as Clues to Value Assumptions

More Hints for Finding Value Assumptions

Finding Value Assumptions on Your Own

USING THIS CRITICAL QUESTION

Values and Relativism

Identifying and Evaluating Descriptive Assumptions

Illustrating Descriptive Assumptions

Clues for Locating Assumptions

Avoiding Analysis of Trivial Assumptions

Practice Exercises

Sample Responses



Chapter 4: Are There Any Fallacies in the Reasoning?

A Questioning Approach to Finding Reasoning Fallacies

Evaluating Assumptions as a Starting Point

Discovering Other Common Reasoning Fallacies

Looking for Diversions

Sleight of Hand: Begging the Question

USING THIS CRITICAL QUESTION

Summary of Reasoning Errors

Expanding Your Knowledge of Fallacies

Fallacies and Your Own Writing and Speaking

Practice Exercises

Sample Responses



Chapter 5: How Good Is the Evidence: Intuition, Personal Experience, Case Examples, Testimonials, and Appeals to Authority?

The Need for Evidence

Locating Factual Claims

Sources of Evidence

Intuition as Evidence

Personal Experience as Evidence

Case Examples as Evidence

Testimonials as Evidence

Appeals to Authority as Evidence

USING THIS CRITICAL QUESTION

EVIDENCE AND YOUR WRITING AND SPEAKING

Practice Exercises

Sample Responses



Chapter 6: How Good Is the Evidence: Personal Observation, Research Studies, and Analogies?

Personal Observation

Research Studies as Evidence

Problems with Research Findings

Generalizing from the Research Sample

Biased Surveys and Questionnaires

Critical Evaluation of a Research-Based Argument

Analogies as Evidence

Identifying and Comprehending Analogies

Evaluating Analogies

USING EVIDENCE IN YOUR OWN WRITING

Research and the Internet

Practice Exercises

Sample Responses



Chapter 7: Are There Rival Causes?

When to Look For Rival Causes

The Pervasiveness of Rival Causes

Detecting Rival Causes

The Cause or a Cause

Rival Causes for Differences Between Groups

Confusing Causation with Association

Confusing "After this" with "Because of this"

Explaining Individual Events or Acts

Evaluating Rival Causes

RIVAL CAUSES AND YOUR OWN COMMUNICATIoN

Exploring Potential Causes

Narrowing Down Your List of Potential Causes

Practice Exercises

Sample Responses



Chapter 8: Are the Statistics Deceptive?

Unknowable and Biased Statistics

Confusing Averages

Concluding One Thing, Proving Another

Deceiving by Omitting Information

Risk Statistics and Omitted Information

USING STATISTICS IN YOUR WRITING

Practice Exercises

Sample Responses



Chapter 9: What Significant Information is Omitted?

The Benefits of Detecting Omitted Information

The Certainty of Incomplete Reasoning

Questions that Identify Omitted Information

The Importance of the Negative View

Omitted Information That Reminas Missing

MISSING INFORMATION IN YOUR OWN ARGUMENTS

USING THIS CRITICAL QUESTION

Practice Exercises

Sample Responses



Chapter 10: What Reasonable Conclusions Are Possible?

Assumptions and Multiple Conclusions

Dichotomous Thinking: Impediment to Considering Multiple Conclusions

Two Sides or Many?
Searching for Multiple Conclusions

Productivity of If-Clauses

Alternative Solutions as Conclusions

The Liberating Effect of Recognizing Alternative Conclusions

All Conclusions Are Not Created Equal

Summary

Practice Exercises

Sample Respones



Final Word
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991 ratings
3.92 out of 5 stars
5 34% (339)
4 36% (354)
3 21% (205)
2 7% (66)
1 3% (27)
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