Critical Thinking - Web view Critical Thinking introduces the student to critical thinking processes

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Critical Thinking

Syllabus

School of Management

BC 301: Critical Thinking

5 Credit Hours

Effective: January, 2010

BC 301: Critical Thinking

Faculty

Faculty Name:

Contact Information:

Course Description

Critical Thinking introduces the student to critical thinking processes used to analyze today's business issues and aid the student in identifying rational solutions. The course focuses on building and analyzing arguments; forms and standards of critical thinking; and evaluating sources of information. Students learn foundational skills that will serve them throughout the program and their business careers.

Course Resources

Required and recommended resources to complete coursework and assignments are listed on the My.CityU portal at Library>Resources by Course.

CItyU Learning Goals

The content of this course addresses the following CityU Learning Goals:

· Critical Thinking;

· Strong Interpersonal/Communication Skills.

Program Context

The content of this course aligns with the following program outcomes:

· Access and evaluate relevant information to guide business decisions;

· Recommend improvements that align with the company’s strategy, goals, and culture;

· Lead and manage diverse teams.

Course Outcomes

In this course, learners will:

· Analyze business propositions for examples of fact and inference, inductive and deductive reasoning, and emotional appeal;

· Construct an argument that defends a business claim with appropriate supporting data and logical consistency;

· Trace the development of an argument from proposition to conclusion;

· Recognize what assumptions are and how assumptions may be used to benefit or hinder critical thinking;

· Compare and contrast attitudes or values as expressed by writers with differing perspectives;

· Apply the principles of critical thinking to writing, with and without cited reference sources;

· Evaluate the reliability of source materials;

· Work with others to produce a team-written document.

Core Concepts, Knowledge, and Skills

· The relationship between careful observation and critical thinking;

· Obstacles that impede the critical thinking process;

· The functions of assimilation, accommodation and disequilibrium in the thinking process;

· The difference between the denotative and connotative meanings of words;

· The differing functions of concrete and abstract language in constructing arguments;

· The standards of determining factuality: verifiability, reliability, plausibility, and probability;

· The difference between facts and inferences;

· The role of feelings in the thinking process;

· The differences between conscious, unconscious, warranted and unwarranted assumptions;

· How to articulate the hidden and/or value assumptions underlying arguments;

· The role of assumptions and generalizations in the thinking process;

· The differences between substantiated and unsubstantiated opinions;

· The spectrum of conscious and unconscious viewpoint filters and how they affect arguments;

· The differences between a report and an evaluation;

· Identification of major logical fallacies (false authority, bandwagon, circular reasoning, red herring, straw man, etc.);

· The place of emotional appeals in an argument;

· The differences between deductive and inductive reasoning, including the advantages and limitations of each;

· How to evaluate the reliability of hypotheses based on statistical sampling;

· How to evaluate an argument by identifying its claim, its viewpoint and biases, and its level of support, and to distinguish an argument from a report;

· Proper research documentation format in APA style;

· How to evaluate sources for relevance, reliability and currency;

· The concepts of empirical reasoning, scientific method, hypothesis, probability and causal reasoning.

Overview of Course Grading

The grade you receive for the course will be derived using City University of Seattle’s decimal grading system, based on the following:

Overview of Required Assignments

% of Final Grade

Inference Essay

10%

Viewpoint Comparison

15%

Editorial Evaluation

15%

Journal exercises

20%

Argumentative Essay

20%

Instructor Determined Assignments (including Participation)

20%

TOTAL

100%

Specifics of Course Assignments

Inference Essay:

Write a two- to three-page essay explaining what you perceive to be the outside world’s assumptions and inferences about your ethnic identity or some other characteristic by which people might classify you. For example, you might identify with a national or ethnic group, or you might identify with people having certain physical traits in common, such as being thin, fat, tall, short, bald, blond, etc. You might also identify with a group that is classified by non-physical traits such as professional, political or religious affiliation or identification with a minority gender orientation or interest group. The point here is to be able to identify yourself with a group so that you can then explore and examine the negative or positive automatic assumptions people often apply to such groups.

Grading Criteria for Inference Essay

Requirements: Does the student meet the requirements of the assignment and remain focused on the purpose of the assignment

30

Purpose/Thesis Statement: How does the student frame the content of the paper?

10

Content: How well is the content presented? Does the reader gain insight from the assignment?

20

Writing Mechanics: How well does the student incorporate grammar, spelling, syntax, punctuation, and style into the assignment?

20

References: Are the selected resources appropriate and sufficient for the purpose of this work?  Are they formatted in APA style?

10

Organization: How well is the content of the paper organized?

10

TOTAL

100%

Viewpoints Comparison:

Select two magazine websites with very different viewpoints from each other but which discuss some of the same issues. You should easily recognize the way that viewpoints act as "filters" so that two writers starting with the same facts will interpret them very differently. In Mayfield's "Composition Writing Application” (p. 230), she lists several such magazines. Although you are not limited to these publications, this list may be helpful to you in selecting your magazines (you can perform an online search for the web-links). You will also find Mayfield’s discussion of News Framing useful in discovering your magazines’ viewpoints by analyzing their choice of graphics, navigation, typography, advertisements, letters to the editor, tables of contents, etc.. Once you have determined the contrasting viewpoints of the magazines, locate an article in each magazine that discusses approximately the same subject matter (international events, politics, science, etc.). Use these two articles to write a three-page essay demonstrating this assignment’s thesis: the viewpoint of a magazine influences the opinions expressed in the articles it publishes. Be sure to document your sources with APA in-text citations and accompanying APA References page.

Grading Criteria for Viewpoints Comparison

Requirements: Does the student meet the requirements of the assignment and remain focused on the purpose of the assignment

30

Purpose/Thesis Statement: How does the student frame the content of the paper?

10

Content: How well is the content presented? Does the reader gain insight from the assignment?

20

Writing Mechanics: How well does the student incorporate grammar, spelling, syntax, punctuation, and style into the assignment?

20

References: Are the selected resources appropriate and sufficient for the purpose of this work?  Are they formatted in APA style?

10

Organization: How well is the content of the paper organized?

10

TOTAL

100%

Editorial Evaluation:

Read an editorial in a current newspaper (hard copy or online), and write a two-page essay evaluating the argument skills it demonstrates, using your answers to the six questions on page 260 about the strengths and weaknesses of arguments to help you decide whether or not the editorial is a good argument or not. Please do not just answer these questions; turn your responses into a coherent, organized essay with a clear thesis and good support for your inferences.

Grading Criteria for Editorial Evaluation

Requirements: Does the student meet the requirements of the assignment and remain focused on the purpose of the assignment

30

Purpose/Thesis Statement: How does the student frame the content of the paper?

10

Content: How well is the content presented? Does the reader gain insight from the assignment?

20

Writing Mechanics: How well does the student incorporate grammar, spelling, syntax, punctuation, and style into the assignment?

20

References: Are the selected resources appropriate and sufficient for the purpose of this work?  Are they formatted in APA style?

10

Organization: How well is the content of the paper organized?

10

TOTAL

100%

Team Assignment: Argumentative Essay:

In thi