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The Vocabulary of Critical Thinking offers an innovative way to improve students' thinking skills. It begins at a practical level by helping students master the crucial terms that are the building blocks of critical thinking--terms such as "generalization," "inferring," "to confirm," "justifying," "assumption," and others. The book provides hundreds of short, accessible readings that illustrate the concepts and related thinking skills. It explains in a step-by-step fashion how students can perform the specific skills themselves.
Organized around nine basic skills--including comparing, generalizing, inferring, judging sources, experimenting, making value judgments, defining terms, assuming, and thinking creatively--The Vocabulary of Critical Thinking walks students through definitions, explanations, and applications of 108 words. Each chapter is comprised of four parts. The first part establishes a solid foundation by defining six or seven words related to one skill. The second part gives interesting real-world examples (from books and newspapers) that illustrate the concepts. The third part includes exercises allowing students to analyze a writer's arguments and thinking. Finally, each chapter ends with writing exercises that help students use a particular skill in their own writing.
As students learn specific definitions of such terms as "analogy," "sample," and "hypothesis," they will gain a better understanding of how writers use the terms. By studying the words in context, along with author Phil Washburn's commentary and questions, they will come to understand such vital types of thinking as assessing sources, determining causes, and recognizing fallacies. Students will improve their competence gradually, without being intimidated by abstract rules and technical terms.
Enhanced by numerous study questions, exercises, arguments for analysis, and writing tasks, The Vocabulary of Critical Thinking also features drawings, photographs, and an annotated bibliography. Ideal for courses in critical thinking and reasoning, it can also be used in a variety of courses on writing, the humanities, interdisciplinary topics, study skills, and college preparation.
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