Reading Reflection #8: Evidence Part 2 (due 4/6)


To complete this reading reflection assignment, (1) Go to your personal blog, (2) Click on New -> Post, (3) Title the post Reading Reflection #8: Evidence Part 2, (4) Select the Category box for Reading Reflection Assignments, and (5) Add a few descriptive tags. Remember to respond to all five prompts below.

Based on your reading of ARQ chapter 8, “How Good is the Evidence: Personal Observation and Research Studies?,” respond to the following prompts:

  1. Briefly describe the scientific method (you may have to Google it). What are the main characteristics of the scientific method, as mentioned in this chapter, that contribute to the reliability and dependability of research data and results?
  1. What are some ways that surveys or questionnaires can be unreliable? What are some things to look for to verify the reliability of survey information?
  1. What are some pros and cons of research studies? Explain how some research findings can be problematic.
  1. What are three questions you can use to evaluate research studies? Where (in an article) should you look to find answers to these questions?
  1. Find a scholarly, peer-reviewed research article to use for Short Formal Assignment 4: Scholarly Article Analysis. Skim through the article to prepare for Assignment 4. Write (or copy and paste) the APA citation for the article here.

Reading Reflection #7: Evidence Part 1 (due 3/17)

To complete this reading reflection assignment, (1) Go to your personal blog, (2) Click on New -> Post, (3) Title the post Reading Reflection #7: Evidence Part 1, (4) Select the Category box for Reading Reflection Assignments, and (5) Add a few descriptive tags. Remember to respond to all three prompts below.

Based on your reading of ARQ chapter 7, “The Worth of Personal Experience, Case Examples, Testimonials, and Statements of Authority as Evidence,” respond to the following prompts:

  1. In class we have been working on identifying arguments in written material. You’ll remember that an argument must have both a conclusion and reasons. The next step in evaluating information critically is looking for the evidence that supports the reasons. Summarize, in your own words, the textbook’s definition of evidence (don’t forget to provide an in-text citation).
  1. Provide a brief definition of each of the four different types of evidence discussed in this chapter (personal experience, case examples, testimonials, and appeals to authority). What is a strength and a potential problem with the validity and/or reliability of each of the four types of evidence?
  1. Go to www.theconversation.com, www.theatlantic.com, or quillette.com and look for an article that uses one of the four types of evidence discussed in this chapter. Briefly summarize the article and describe the evidence the author provides. How reliable do you think the evidence is, given the topic of the article, and why? Include an APA citation for the article (hint, the publication/journal title is The Conversation, The Atlantic, or Quillette).

Reading Reflection #6: Logical Fallacies (due 3/3)

To complete this reading reflection assignment, (1) Go to your personal blog, (2) Click on New -> Post, (3) Title the post Reading Reflection #6: Logical Fallacies, (4) Select the Category box for Reading Reflection Assignments, and (5) Add a few descriptive tags. Remember to respond to all five prompts below.

Based on your reading of ARQ chapter 6, “Are There Any Fallacies in the Reasoning?,” respond to the following prompts:

  1. Which of the fallacies described in this chapter have you heard/seen used the most often? In what kind of situations have you heard the fallacy used?
  2. Describe a time when you may have used one of these fallacies (either consciously or subconsciously) to argue your point of view. How did the person you were talking with respond?
  3. Identify the fallacies in the following passage:

There has been a dangerous trend of states’ legalizing gay marriage as of late. It’s apparent that the gay agenda has infiltrated the legislative bodies of these states and has influenced the legislatures into passing laws that allow gay marriage. The liberal media and its glorification of gay marriage have certainly played a part as well. These laws destroy the traditional morals of this great nation.

Despite the trend, several politicians still agree that gay marriage is an affront to America’s traditions and values. If America allows gay marriage, it’s only a matter of time before this nation allows other nontraditional relationships, such as polygamy or incest. Marriage has always been a sacred institution between a man and a woman and should remain that way. Otherwise, it’s inevitable that the morals of the American people will fall by the wayside.

  1. Identify the fallacies in the following passage:

Fraternity members who hold college parties are unfairly depicted in the media because of overreactions to a few cases where fights or sexual assaults have occurred at a fraternity party. Only an idiot would ban fraternity parties on campus. Most of the complaints about fraternity parties come from antisocial loners, people who hate parties in the first place. I’ve held several fraternity parties with alcohol available and nothing has ever gone wrong. Clearly placing some kind of ban or regulation on fraternity parties on campus would be a pointless action. I have seen other parties off campus that were not held by fraternities where assaults happened. Once administrators ban fraternity parties, their next step will be to ban any sort of social event on campus where alcohol is permitted.

  1. Choose one of the passages above and make three suggestions for how the argument could be stronger.

Reading Reflection #4: Ambiguity and Assumptions (due 2/27)

To complete this reading reflection assignment, (1) Go to your personal blog, (2) Click on New -> Post, (3) Title the post Reading Reflection #4: Ambiguity and Assumptions, (4) Select the Category box for Reading Reflection Assignments, and (5) Add a few descriptive tags. Remember to respond to all seven prompts below.

Based on your reading of the ARQ chapter 4, “What Words or Phrases are Ambiguous?,” respond to the following prompts:

  1. How does the book define “ambiguity” and why is it important to identify any ambiguous terms before evaluating an argument?
  2. Why are dictionary definitions of key terms and phrases used in an argument often not sufficiently helpful in determining their meaning?
  3. ARQ stresses that not all ambiguous terms or phrases are equally important. How do you determine which ones are the most important to identify?

Based on your reading of the ARQ chapter 5, “What Are the Value and Descriptive Assumptions?,” respond to the following prompts:

  1. How do value and descriptive assumptions differ?
  2. Why is it important for people to be aware of what values they and others are assuming (a.k.a. of their value assumptions) when they argue about a social issue? Provide an example.
  3. Why do so few experts (such as politicians, scientists, professors, and television pundits) make value priorities explicit? Should individuals expressing their opinions on a social controversy make their value priorities explicit? Why should or shouldn’t they?
  4. Look at the table of “Typical Value Conflict and Sample Controversies” on page 57 of ARQ. Try to think of one more to add to this list, and an example of when the two values conflict. Write it down here and be prepared to share it in class.

Reading Reflection #3: Issues, Conclusions, and Reasons (due 2/18)

To complete this reading reflection assignment, (1) Go to your personal blog, (2) Click on New -> Post, (3) Title the post Reading Reflection #3: Issues, Conclusions, and Reasons, (4) Select the Category box for Reading Reflection Assignments, and (5) Add a few descriptive tags. Remember to respond to all five prompts below.

Based on your reading of ARQ chapter 2, “What Are the Issue and the Conclusion?,” respond to the following prompts:

  1. In order to figure out how reliable a person’s reasoning is, you must first be able to identify the issue they are presenting. What are the two primary types of issues discusses in the book? How can you tell the difference between these two types of issues?
  2. You must also be able to identify the conclusion that the person is presenting. What are some questions you can ask yourself to try to determine the author’s conclusion? Describe the clues to can help you locate the conclusion.

Based on your reading of ARQ chapter 3, “What Are the Reasons?,” respond to the following prompts:

  1. How does the book define an argument? What are the necessary components of an argument? What are some characteristics of an argument?
  2. What is the main question to ask yourself when you’re trying to find an author’s reasons that support a particular conclusion? What are some indicator words (words that suggest a reason) to look for?

Read the article, How ‘Intellectual Humility’ Can Make You a Better Person.”

  1. Identify (a) the overall issue discussed, (b) the author’s conclusion, and (c) the author’s reasons that explain why we should believe the conclusion.

Reading Reflection #2: Implicit Bias and Race (due 1/23)


To complete this reading reflection assignment, (1) Go to your personal blog, (2) Click on New -> Post, (3) Title the post Reading Reflection #2: Implicit Bias and Race, (4) Select the Category box for Reading Reflections, and (5) Add a few descriptive tags. Remember to respond to all six prompts below.

Based on your reading of “Trouble in Mind: To Be Black Is Blue in America” by IBé [link in D2L], answer the following questions:

  1. What was your emotional response when you read about IBé’s experiences as a Black man in St. Cloud? What personal experiences of your own can you connect or compare to those he describes?
  2. On page 74, IBé shares his thought process when he encounters microaggressions or discrimination. He then quotes James Baldwin as saying, “To be black and conscious in America is to be in a constant state of rage.” IBé adds, “Even if you are not raging mad, you may be losing your mind. In other words, trouble in mind.” What do you think he means by this?

Based on your viewing of Microaggressions in the Classroom, answer the following questions:

  1. Describe a time you witnessed or experienced a microaggression, in the classroom or within another group experience (if you can’t think of one you’ve experienced personally, describe one you’ve seen in a movie, etc.). What happened? How was it addressed (or not addressed)? How did people react? How did it make you feel?
  2. How important do you think it is for students to feel a sense of belonging within the classroom and within the university? How can feeling like you belong and are welcome affect one’s ability to do well and succeed?

Based on your reading of “Do Conversations About Race Belong in the Classroom?,” respond to the following questions:

  1. How diverse was your high school? If you identify as white, how much did you talk or think about what it means to be white in the United States? If you didn’t talk or think about being white, do you think that was itself a privilege? If you identify as a Person of Color, Latinx, or Indigenous, how has whiteness been visible to you?
  2. Do you think conversations about race should happen in school? Why or why not (please answer thoughtfully)?

Reading Reflection #1: Critical Thinking (due 1/21)

To complete this reading reflection assignment, (1) Go to your personal blog, (2) Click on New -> Post, (3) Title the post Reading Reflection #1: Critical Thinking, (4) Select the Category box for Reading Reflections  and (5) Add a few descriptive tags. Remember to respond to all prompts below.

Based on your reading of Asking the Right Questions (ARQ) Chapter 1: “The Benefit and Manner of Asking the Right Questions,” think about and respond to the following questions:

  1. What are some characteristics or values of a person who is a critical thinker? Which, if any, of these themes did we suggest for our Classroom Agreement on Tuesday?
  2. How do strong sense and weak sense critical thinking differ? Why is strong sense critical thinking usually so much more difficult than weak sense critical thinking?
  3. When we talk about an “argument” in this class, what do we mean? How is the book’s definition different from an argument we might have with our parents or friends?
  4. Why, do you think, is it so difficult to find the “right answer” to many questions about human behavior and society?

Based on your reading of “Why Questioning?,” think about and respond to the following questions:

  1. How does this chapter relate to your experiences? What role has asking questions had in your life?
  2. Why do you think children stop asking questions? Why do some people (like Bezos or Jobs) keep questioning?
  3. As a college student, what role does asking questions have in your education? What role does questioning have in your future profession and work environment?