Critical Thinking

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This week’s discussion board assignment is in three parts.

1. In this module, we’re continuing our work on critical thinking, and in particular, reading as a way of thinking. In the module, we developed tools for reading carefully, including underlining, highlighting, paraphrasing, summarizing, and others. In this assignment, we’ll focus on paraphrasing. Reading carefully and making a summary helps one to grasp an argument. This fact may be so obvious, that it’s why most students often ignore this point. It really does help, and so we’ll write a one page (200-300 word) of a longer article. Your job in your first post is to write a one page (200-300 word) paraphrase of this article: “Is that even a thing“, New York Times, by Alexander Stern, April 16, 2016. I encourage you to make use of the lessons in this week’s module — you may choose to print the article, or use software to underline, highlight, summarize, preview, annotate. However, your final product will be a paraphrase. Read the chapter carefully and review the module materials to be sure you understand the difference. Be sure that you’re not submitting patchwriting. This is due Wednesday by 5pm.

2. In the third and final reply, you’ll write a longer criticism of the paraphrase that another student posted. In order to ensure that everyone gets a peer-reviewed reply, and that no student gets many, in your second post simply “claim” a thread for yourself. You can do this simply by typing “Hi, Robert. This is interesting, and I’ll reply to your letter by the end of the week”. Of course, if someone else has already “claimed” a thread, then please choose another. This strategy will guarantee that no two students are working to peer review the same essay. Please do this step as soon as possible, but no later than Friday at 5pm.

3. In your third post, write a short peer review response (100-150 words, two or three paragraphs) in which you address each of the questions in the “checklist for a paraphrase” (p.45 8/e). Remember that you’re writing about someone else’s paraphrase that you claimed, not yours. In your response, provide a peer review of the original paraphrase, in which you offer helpful advice to improve the paraphrase. Be specific, and speak directly to the article. You should make good use of the assumptions and points that the student found, in addition to any that you’re able to identify. You are writing a short response, not a list of bullet points. This is due by Sunday at 5pm.

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