Sources and Research Sources

# The goal is to present contrasting arguments using information from credible sources and to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of these positions using content from the course.

As you put this together, are you following the critical analysis process that we emphasize in critical reasoning? This means fairly considering all research equally before reaching a conclusion.

Required Elements:

1) A properly formatted APA title page

2) A properly formatted APA abstract

3) Body

* Introduction: Identify the issue. Provide the necessary background and/or important recent developments. Define key terms and concepts. Engage the reader and explain the broader significance of the issue.

* Arguments and Counterarguments: Summarize the best arguments on both sides of the issue. Include relevant research from credible sources used to support each conclusion. Devote at least one paragraph to each side.

* Evaluation of Critical Thinking: Assess the strength of the arguments and the quality of thinking surrounding this issue.

  • Identify weaknesses in critical thinking such as fallacies, rhetorical devices, vague language, and cognitive biases. Provide specific examples of how these weaknesses appear in arguments you encountered, using terminology and definitions from the course. Be specific! Present evidence from your sources that show these fallacies/biases being used.
  • Evaluate the quality of scientific and anecdotal evidence using the standards of inductive and deductive reasoning described in the course. Consider the quality of causal relationship, analogies, generalizations, and/or moral reasoning.

* Conclusion: Analyze the totality of research and offer a critical thinker’s response to the issue. Identify your own position and experience with the issue and explain how your thinking of the subject has evolved as a result of your analysis. Your conclusion does not have to be absolute, but it should not be equivocal. If both sides have good arguments, which is better, even if only slightly better, and what is the argument that tips the scales in the sides’ favor? Why does that point tip the scales?

Sources and Research Sources: You must use five scholarly or academic sources and all research should be published within the last five years. Sources not scholarly or academic in nature may affect your grade. Include a minimum of 3 academic peer-reviewed books or journal articles. Other sources may be used as supplemental sources, such as journalistic, government, web-based, or media sources.  Sources should not include dictionaries, encyclopedias, or general information websites like Wikipedia.

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