InstructionsRemember – these journal questions require more thinking than writing. Think about exactly what you are asked to do, and then write as economically as possible.
For this journal assignment, answer each of the following prompts:
- Considering only the Introduction to Chapter 5, in terms of developing critical thinking and reasoning, what do you consider is the most valuable and important idea in that section? You can either summarize or directly quote the text; then, briefly explain why you find this idea important and valuable.
In Chapter 5, the section “Making Arguments” states: “In some ways applying our core critical thinking skills to analysis can be more difficult than offering an evaluative opinion. Analysis, like interpretation, is understanding at a deep level (p. 89)”
- What concepts discussed in Chapter 4 might make analysis of a statement difficult – and why?
- In Chapter 5, the section “Making Arguments” states: “In some ways applying our core critical thinking skills to analysis can be more difficult than offering an evaluative opinion. Analysis, like interpretation, is understanding at a deep level (p. 89)”
- Why do you believe what you believe?
- What is your “evidence”?
- Test one of your beliefs by asking yourself, “Why?” As you answer each “why,” go down another layer – four layers will probably give you a good idea of why you believe what you believe.
- Your product should show a well-reasoned and logical basis for your belief. Stay away from the big stuff, like believing in God, or who to vote for in the next election, and don’t look for sources – this is about what you believe and why you believe it. After all, this is only an 8-week course, and we can’t settle everything!
- Click on the following link for an example of layers of why:
Link: Example of Layers of Why
Suppose your claim is “All people should work to support their children.” Here is an example of possible “layers of why” for this claim:
- Layer 1: People should work to support their children because it is the right thing to do.
- Layer 2: It is the right thing to do because it is true that children need to be cared for by adults.
- Layer 3: I believe my last statement is true because it is an accurate description of what occurs – that is, very small children sicken and die if adults do not care for their needs; older children may exhibit many physical and emotional deficiencies if they are not properly cared for.
- Layer 4: Reasonable attention to the needs of children is just since children are largely dependent on their parents (who, after all, brought them into the world) for all of their needs during the early years of their lives. Furthermore, such attention leads to a healthy, productive and ordered society in which each individual has an opportunity to achieve his or her highest potential.
Don’t be tempted to skip steps. If you start with layer 5, you have just opened up a whole new line of “whys.” For example, why should everyone be afforded an opportunity to reach his or her highest potential? After all, for most of the history of the world, that has not been the case.
If you include references to outside sources (beyond the textbook), make sure you cite them properly.
Writing Requirements (APA format)
- Length: 1 ½ -2 pages (not including prompts, title page or references page)
- 1-inch margins
- Double spaced
- 12-point Times New Roman font
- Title page
- References page (as needed)