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Name __________________________

Critical Thinking: Introduction to Reasoning

Types of Reasoning
This year you will be introduced to __________________________ different types of reasoning. What is reasoning? How to make an ______________________

Types of Reasoning
____________ Reasoning: why things happen ____________ Reasoning: are things alike or different? _____________ Reasoning: statements about groups and parts of groups

Why learn all this?

To help you read an argument and ________________ it ________________ it: is it a strong argument or a weak argument?

Comparison Reasoning: Drawing conclusions based on how alike or different 2 things are
_______________ Like, Unlike, Similar, Different, Same, Contrast, Better, Worse, More, Less Elements: __________what is being compared __________point of comparison ___________how the subject is described regarding a given issue

Comparison Reasoning, cont.

Ex. Juniors are much more respectful, hardworking & responsible than Seniors. Seniors are rude, lazy, and irresponsible.

Key words: ____________ Subjects: ________________________ Issues: __________________________________ Descriptors: (see next few slides)

Comp. Reasoning: Diagramming

Comparison Diagramming
Comparison Statement:













Juniors and Seniors Comparison Diagram

Comparison Statement:



Work Ethic


How to _______ a comparison argument

Ask yourself these questions: How are the cases ___________ and how are they ______________? Is the comparison argument backed up with strong ______________? Are there other important points of comparison being ___________________?

Example: __________________________
Dogs are very similar to cats. Both make great pets and are friendly. They become like a member of the household. But dogs slobber all over you, and smell more, while cats dont. Cats are also less work overall, and you dont have to take them out in the middle of the night.

How are the cases similar and different?



Well backed up with strong examples?

Important points being left out?

Can you think of other important issues about cats and dogs that would show they are similar or different?

How strong is this comparison?

Cause and Effect Reasoning

CE Reasoning: Diagramming
Boxes & Arrows

Ex. Ms. Kornfeld only got ice cream for herself at Bedford Farms which caused her to endure seemingly endless persecution. Ms. Kornfeld only got ice cream for herself at Bedford Farms.

Ms. Kornfeld endures seeminglendless persecution.

TIP: Only 1 Idea per Box

CE Reasoning: 3 Basic Types

(1) CAUSESPoint of argument is to explain the causes of some event. --Diagram starts with ultimate effect in box on right.
Ex. There were three reasons for the failure of the Red Sox to advance in the 2008 playoffs. First, their starting pitching was inconsistent. Second, their relief pitching was consistently bad. And third, their big offensive players didnt produce.
Inconsistent Starting Pitching Consistently Bad Relief Pitching Big Offensive Players Unproductive Red Sox fail to Advance in 2008 Playoffs

CE Reasoning: 3 Basic Types

(2) EFFECTSPoint of argument is to explain the effects of some event. --Diagram starts with the big cause in a box on left.
Ex. There were two important effects of the failure of the Red Sox to advance in the 2008 playoffs. First, Boston fans quickly shifted their attention to the Pats. And, second, Yankees fans quietly sighed in relief.

Red Sox fail to Advance in 2008 Playoffs

Boston sports fans shift attention to Pats

Yankees fans sigh in relief

CE Reasoning: 3 Basic Types

(3) RELATIONSHIPPoint of argument is to explain the relationship between a cause & an effect. --Diagram starts with big cause in box on left and ultimate effect in box on right.
Ex. Unemployment is a major contributor to economic contraction. Unemployment decreases household income. This, in turn, reduces consumption. Decreased consumption creates downward pressure on prices which cuts business profits. With profits reduced, businesses cut production or fail. This, inevitably, means less production thus a contraction. Also, business failure creates a vicious cycle as workers are laid off.
Unemployment Consumption Household Income Prices Businesses cut back or fail Profits


Economic Contraction

Generalization Reasoning
Purpose: What is reasoning by generalization? Making a statement about a group based on a section of that group.

Generalization Example
Example: By reading the diaries of some women in Colonial times, historians argue that most Colonial women worked long, hard hours cooking, cleaning, growing food, and caring for children.

Diagramming a generalization argument

Do you remember how to diagram a cause and effect argument? Comparison argument?

Diagramming generalization, cont

Break down a generalization argument into these parts:

Whole: the group the statement is about Generalization: the statement about that group Parts: the BIG types of evidence used Sample: the specific examples of evidence used

Example of Generalization
1. After the Civil War, all freed slaves faced questions about their lives. These questions included economic, political, and legal issues. For example, what jobs would freed slaves get to hold? Would freed slaves be allowed to vote? Would they get public education? Would they get all the rights of free citizens? Whole: Generalization: Parts:


Example 2
2. All students at BHS feel the rules on technology use in the school need to be changed. The students feel this way because of issues of fairness, the need to know information, and helping with learning. For example, teachers get to use their cell phones, so why shouldnt students? Plus, students need to stay in touch with family members and friends, to know whats going on that afternoon. Also, many students find it easier to focus when listening to their ipod. Whole: Generalization: Parts:


How do you evaluate if a generalization is done well?

Look at the sample! Does the author include:

A large sample A representative sample

By looking at the letters of two Confederate soldiers from Mississippi, historian Eric Foner concluded that all Confederate soldiers were glad when the Civil War ended. Is the sample large? Is the sample representative? Is it a good generalization?

Example 2
Historian Joanna McPherson concluded that most factories in Massachusetts had prospered due to the Civil War. Her research included examining the records of 85% of all the factories in Massachusetts. She looked at factories in all the counties, including those of different sizes. Is the sample large? Is the sample representative? Is this a good generalization?