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CRITICAL THINKING: A USER'S MANUAL offers an innovative skill-based approach to critical thinking that provides step-by-step tools for learning to evaluate arguments. Students build a complete skill set by recognizing, analyzing, diagramming, and evaluating arguments. Later chapters encourage application of the basic skills to categorical, truth-functional, analogical and inductive, and causal arguments as well as fallacies. Clear, conversational, step-by-step explanations and workbook-style features make complex course material manageable and accessible. Multiple opportunities for practice in a variety of formats ensure that students apply what they have learned, regardless of their dominant learning style. The quantity and variety of exercises allow for group work, reflection and application, and writing practice as well as traditional homework exercises. The exercises also engage readers in active learning, integrate writing as part of the critical thinking process, and emphasize skill transference. Aplia™, an online homework solution that increases student effort and engagement, is available as an option with this text to provide additional critical thinking practice with automatic grading and immediate feedback that reinforces the skills students are building in class.
- Learning outcomes are presented in a bulleted list at the beginning of Chapters 1 through 12. They describe measurable skills to help students and instructors evaluate individual progress; skills are also transferable into any instructor's syllabus.
- Learning outcomes are tied to the chapter content: The exercise sets throughout the chapter help students and instructors measure the acquisition of the skills taught in the text. End-of-chapter review questions provide an additional opportunity to review the learning outcomes.
- The text offers opportunities to apply the skills students learn in a new special exercise, "One Step Further," included at the end of Chapters 2 through 12. Examples of arguments encountered in further course work in students' academic career provide the foundation for this additional and stimulating practice. This activity, with a higher level of difficulty than in-chapter exercises, enables users to take a measure of their comprehension and mastery of the concepts and skills learned in the chapter. It may also be used by instructors as a group activity.
- The chapter devoted to fallacies is expanded; it now follows the chapters that cover the evaluation of arguments and precedes the last chapter, which is dedicated to constructing arguments.
- The presentation of the methods for evaluating arguments is broken up to balance the coverage: Chapters 6 (Evaluating Categorical Arguments) and 7 (Evaluating Truth-Functional Arguments) are streamlined, and two new supplementary chapters at the end of the book introduce the remaining content on these topics.
- The first three chapters are amended to strengthen the introduction of basic critical thinking concepts, such as critical reading, language and rhetoric, the distinction between arguments and explanations, and conditionals.
- "Your Turn!" exercises are interspersed throughout the text to help students focus their reading, check their understanding, and prepare for classroom discussion. These activities help students to apply, synthesize, and analyze what they are learning in terms of their own understanding and experiences.
- The "Putting it All Together" feature at the end of each chapter provides a comprehensive writing exercise which requires students to integrate all previously learned skills with those learned in that chapter.
- The text offers opportunities to apply the skills students learn in a special exercise, "One Step Further," included at the end of Chapters 2–12. Examples of arguments encountered in further course work in students' academic career provide the foundation for this additional and stimulating practice.
- The skill-building approach employed in CRITICAL THINKING: A USER'S MANUAL helps students to cumulatively develop the basic skills of argument recognition, analysis, and evaluation.
- Clear, conversational, step-by-step explanations and workbook-style features make complex course material manageable and accessible. Multiple opportunities for practice in a variety of formats ensure that students apply what they have learned, regardless of their dominant learning style. Aplia, which is available with the text, provides online homework with automatic grading and immediate feedback.
- Students are introduced to Bloom's Taxonomy early in the text, and are shown throughout the book how they are developing the higher-order thinking skills identified in the upper levels of the taxonomy.
1. Thinking Critically.
2. Recognizing Arguments.
3. Analyzing Arguments.
4. Diagramming Arguments.
5. Preparing to Evaluate Arguments.
6. Evaluating Categorical Arguments.
7. Evaluating Truth-Functional Arguments.
8. Evaluating Analogical Arguments.
9. Evaluating Inductive Generalizations.
10. Evaluating Causal Arguments.
11. Detecting Fallacies.
12. Constructing Arguments.
13. Evaluating Categorical Arguments Supplement.
14. Evaluating Truth-Functional Arguments Supplement.
"The book is a rock-solid piece of scholarship for basic and some not-so-basic foundational logic."
"I really liked the simple but well organized structure of the textbook."
"It is the best textbook I have used for the student body I teach."
Cengage provides a range of supplements that are updated in coordination with the main title selection. For more information about these supplements, contact your Learning Consultant.
Additional suggestions and instructional materials for demonstrating skills for argument recognition, analysis, and evaluation in longer writing assignments are available on the course website.
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