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Critical Thinking, Thoughtful Writing 5th Edition

John Chaffee, Christine McMahon, Barbara Stout

  • Published
  • Previous Editions 2008, 2008, 2005
  • 672 Pages


CRITICAL THINKING, THOUGHTFUL WRITING begins with the premise that thinking well involves using language well, and vice versa. This rhetoric with readings--written by critical thinking scholar John Chaffee and English professors Christine McMahon and Barbara Stout--provides thorough coverage of the writing process, going beyond the traditional rhetoric to teach students how to evaluate sources, images, and arguments. Each chapter focuses on a critical-thinking skill--such as problem solving or analysis of complex issues--that is explored through “Thinking-Writing Activities” and thematically linked readings. The text helps students develop these skills through carefully sequenced pedagogy and a cross-disciplinary approach that asks them to complete writing assignments and critically evaluate readings drawn from a variety of disciplines. The Fifth Edition offers new readings, a new “Thinking Critically About New Media” feature in each chapter, and more photos, which emphasize visual rhetoric.

John Chaffee, City University of New York

John Chaffee, Ph.D., is a professor of philosophy at The City University of New York, where he has developed a Philosophy and Critical Thinking program that annually involves 25 faculty and 3,000 students. He is a nationally recognized figure in the area of critical thinking, having authored leading textbooks and many professional articles. He also has conducted numerous conference presentations and workshops throughout the country. In developing programs to teach people to think more effectively in all academic subjects and areas of life, Dr. Chaffee has received grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Ford Foundation, the Annenberg Foundation, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. He was selected as New York Educator of the Year and received the Distinguished Faculty Award for Diversity in Teaching in Higher Education.

Christine McMahon, Montgomery College

Christine McMahon was a professor in the Department of English Composition, Literature, and Professional Writing at Montgomery College in Rockville, Maryland. She planned and coordinated “Critical Literacy,” a professional development program for Montgomery College faculty, librarians, and counselors on educational theory and techniques for fostering critical thinking across the curriculum. In 1997, she received a NISOD Excellence Award (National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development from the University of Texas at Austin) for this work. Her work has been published in Teaching Writing in the Two-Year College.

Barbara Stout, Montgomery College

Barbara Stout was professor of English at Montgomery College. She was chairperson of the Department of English and helped establish the “Writing Across the Curriculum” and “Critical Literacy” programs. Professor Stout was secretary of the Conference on College Composition and Communication and is active in the Two-Year College English Association. She has made presentations at CCCC, TYCA-Northeast, NCTE, and other conferences. Her publications include chapters in NCTE publications and books about two-year college writing programs.
  • A new “Thinking Critically About New Media” feature in each chapter gives students the opportunity to explore, critically analyze, and write about the unique dilemmas and opportunities posed by new media.
  • Thirteen new readings introduce current and provocative topics, such as the pros and cons of food science, the affect of Google on our ability to attend, and the concept of health care rationing. A new casebook in Chapter 9 includes 4 essays exploring the role of perspectives and relationships in the coverage of the earthquake in Haiti.
  • New “Questions for Writing Thoughtfully” appear at the end of each reading to emphasize and reinforce the focus on writing.
  • Each chapter now includes a “Thinking Critically About Visuals” feature, and the majority of the photos in the full-color inserts in Chapters 4 and 13 have been updated. These photos challenge students to think critically about visual rhetoric by evaluating what they see in the media and in everyday life.
  • A new chapter-opening photo and text in each chapter focus on a person who exemplifies critical thinking in action.
  • A student essay, as well as insights into the student’s writing process, appears at the end of each chapter to provide the student reader with real examples of how the writing assignments can be approached and completed.
  • A focus on source-based, objective, and investigative writing means that text coverage moves quickly from first-hand, personal writing to more academic rhetorical models.
  • Four integrated elements - a critical thinking focus, a writing focus, a reading focus, and a writing project - tie each chapter together.
  • The “Thinking-Writing Model” introduced in Chapter 1 and reinforced throughout the book provides a clear graphic representation of the writing process and of the connections between critical thinking and thoughtful writing, as well as creative thinking and inventive writing.
  • The value of collaboration in thinking and writing is emphasized throughout, with a special icon highlighting material specifically designed for collaboration and peer review.
1. Thinking Through Writing.
Thinking and Writing in College. Becoming a Critical Thinker and Thoughtful Writer. Qualities of a Thoughtful Writer. The Thinking-Writing Model. Rhetoric and the Writing Situation. Purpose. Audience. Subject. Writer. COLIN POWELL from My American Journey. Writing Thoughtfully, Thinking Creatively, Thinking Critically. The Writing Process. The Recursive Nature of the Writing Process. Generating Ideas. Keeping a Journal or Blog. Defining a Focus. Organizing Ideas. Drafting. Revising, Editing, and Proofreading. NATALIE GOLDBERG “Writing Is Not a McDonald’s Hamburger”. Collaborating. Chapter Summary.
2. Reading Actively, Reading Critically.
Reading in College. Reading Actively. Review the Table of Contents or Chapter Outlines. Read the Introductory Paragraphs and the Concluding Paragraphs or Summary. Scan the Reading Assignment, Taking Particular Note of Section Headings, Illustrations, and Diagrams. Annotating. Summarizing. Reading Critically. Asking Questions. Using a Problem-Solving Approach. Practicing Active and Critical Reading: One Student’s Approach. SONJA TANNER “On Plato’s Cave”. Using Metacognitive Strategies. JULIA ALVAREZ “Grounds for Fiction”. Making Meaning. Semantic Meaning (Denotation). Perceptual Meaning (Connotation). Syntactic Meaning. Pragmatic Meaning. Chapter Summary.
3. Thinking Critically, Writing Thoughtfully.
From Insight to Writing to Informed Beliefs (and Back Again). Thinking Actively and Writing. Influences on Your Thinking. Thinking Independently. Viewing a Situation from Different Perspectives. Supporting Diverse Perspectives with Reasons and Evidence. Developing Informed Beliefs. Experiences That Affected Beliefs. ANNIE DILLARD from An American Childhood. STEPHEN JAY GOULD “Reversing Established Orders”. JANE SMILEY “The Case Against Chores”. Writing Project: An Experience That Influenced a Belief. The Writing Situation. The Writing Process. STUDENT WRITING: Eli Sharp’s Writing Process. ELI SHARP “An Argument for Chores”. Alternative Writing Projects. Chapter Summary.
4. Viewing Critically, Thinking Creatively.
Creative Thinking, Critical Viewing, and Writing. Creativity in Topic Selection. Moving from Topic to Thesis. Creativity in Generating Ideas. Creative and Critical Thinking About Images. Images and the Writing Situation. Additional Tips for Generating Ideas. Reading Images Critically. Semantic Meaning (Denotation). Perceptual Meaning (Connotation). Syntactic Meaning. Pragmatic Meaning. Living Creatively. Becoming More Creative: Understand and Trust the Process. Eliminate the Voice of Judgment. Establish a Creative Environment. Make Creativity a Priority. Where Do Ideas Come From?. DANIEL PINK “Revenge of the Right Brain”. BILL BREEN “The 6 Myths of Creativity”. Writing Project: Imagining Your Life Lived More Creatively. The Writing Situation. The Writing Process. STUDENT WRITING: Jessie Lange’s Writing Process: Freewriting. JESSIE LANGE “Discovering Creativity by Not Looking for It”. Alternative Writing Projects. Chapter Summary.
5. Making Decisions and Drafting.
Decisions While Drafting. Decide What Your Purpose for Writing Is. Decisions in Your Life. An Organized Approach to Making Decisions. Step 1: Define the Decision and Its Goals Clearly (Audience). Step 2: Consider All Possible Choices (Subject). Step 3: Gather All Relevant Information and Evaluate the Pros and Cons of Each Possible Choice (Purpose). Step 4: Select the Choice That Seems Best Suited to the Situation. Step 5: Implement a Plan of Action and Monitor the Results, Making Necessary Adjustments. Analyzing Decisions. FREDERICK DOUGLASS from Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave. PETER SINGER “The Solution to World Hunger”. Writing Project: Analyzing a Decision to Be Made. The Writing Situation. The Writing Process. STUDENT WRITING: Wendy Agudo’s Writing Process. WENDY AGUDO “Freedom”. STUDENT WRITING: Cynthia Brown’s Writing Process. CYNTHIA BROWN “Freedom and the Constraint of Time”. Alternative Writing Projects. Chapter Summary.
6. Revising Thoughtfully, Using Language Ethically.
Recognizing Effective Use of Language. MALCOLM X, with Alex Haley, from The Autobiography of Malcolm X. Making Decisions When Revising Drafts. Specific Decisions to Make at Several Levels. DONALD M. MURRAY “The Maker’s Eye: Revising Your Own Manuscripts”. MARY BLUME “If You Can’t Master English, Try Globish”. Using Language Ethically. Improving Vague Language. Using Figurative Language. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. “I Have a Dream”. Using Language to Influence. Euphemistic Language. DANIEL PIPES “Beslan Atrocity: They’re Terrorists -- Not Activists”. Clichés. Emotive Language. Writing Project: The Impact of Language on Our Lives. The Writing Situation. The Writing Process. STUDENT WRITING: Jessie Lange’s Writing Process. JESSIE LANGE “The Power of Language”. Alternative Writing Projects. Chapter Summary.
7. Exploring Perceptions: Writing to Describe and Narrate.
Thinking Critically About Perceptions. Becoming Aware of Your Own Perceptions. Actively Selecting, Organizing, and Interpreting Sensations. Noting Differences in People’s Perceptions. Writing Thoughtfully About Perceptions. Writing Objectively and Subjectively. Contrasting Objective and Subjective Writing. TEMPLE GRANDIN “Animal Feelings”. Chronological Relationships. Narratives. Writing About Processes. Examples of Process Writing. ATUL GAWANDE “The Learning Curve”. Writing Project: A Narrative Showing the Effect of a Perception. The Writing Situation. The Writing Process. STUDENT WRITING: Joshua Chaffee’s Writing Process. JOSHUA CHAFFEE “We’re All at Ground Zero”. Alternative Writing Projects. Chapter Summary.
8. Exploring Concepts: Writing to Classify and Define.
What Are Concepts? The Importance of Concepts. The Structure of Concepts. The Process of Classifying. Forming Concepts. Applying Concepts. Determining the Requirements of a Concept. Analyzing Complex Concepts. A Casebook on Gender and Sexuality. JOSEPH BERGER “Choosing Clothes, but Not Husbands”. SUSAN GRAYSON “Women and Femininity in U.S. Popular Culture”. MICHAEL SEGELL “The Second Coming of the Alpha Male”. THEODORE ROETHKE “My Papa’s Waltz”. RICHARD COHEN “Men and Their Hidden Feelings”. JAMAICA KINCAID “Girl”. Using Concepts to Classify. Classifying People and Their Actions. Writing and Classifying. Defining Concepts. Writing Thoughtfully to Define Concepts. Writing Project: Defining an Important Concept. The Writing Situation. The Writing Process. STUDENT WRITING: Nawang Doma Sherpa’s Writing Process. NAWANG DOMA SHERPA “Freedom for Enlightenment”. STUDENT WRITING: Jordan Carlsen’s Writing Process. JORDEN CARLSEN, “Masculinity Makes a Good Man”. Alternative Writing Projects. Chapter Summary.
9. Exploring Perspectives and Relationships: Writing to Compare and Evaluate.
Perceptions and Perspectives. Selecting Perceptions: Why Do We Notice the Things We Notice? Organizing Perceptions. Interpreting Perceptions. CASEBOOK: Perception and Perspective on Reporting the Earthquake in Haiti. JONAH LEHRER “Haiti”. AMY DAVIDSON “Making Sense of Haiti”. GEORGE PACKER “Suffering”. BRYAN WALSH, JAY NEWTON-SMALL, & TIM PADGETT “Aftershock”. Changes in Perceptions and Perspectives. Obtaining More Accurate Perceptions: Adjusting the Lenses. Develop Awareness. Get Input from Others. Find Evidence. Keep an Open Mind. BENJAMIN FRANKLIN “Remarks Concerning the Savages of North America”. ZITKALA-SA (Gertrude Simmons Bonnin) from “The School Days of an Indian Girl”. Writing Thoughtfully About Perspectives. Comparison and Contrast. Thinking in Comparisons. TED STEINBERG “A Natural Disaster, and a Human Tragedy”. Analogy. Writing Project: Comparing Perspectives on an Issue or Event. The Writing Situation. The Writing Process. STUDENT WRITING: Jennifer Wade’s Writing Process. JENNIFER WADE “Where Did All of the Cherokees Go?”. Alternative Writing Project: Comparing Two Reviews. Chapter Summary.
10. Exploring Cause and Effect: Writing to Speculate.
Kinds of Causal Relationships. Causal Chain. Contributory Causes. Interactive Causes. Ways of Testing Causes. Necessary Condition and Sufficient Condition. Immediate Cause and Remote Cause. Identifying Causal Fallacies. Questionable Cause. Misidentification of the Cause. Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc. Slippery Slope. Detecting Causal Claims. Exploring Cause and Effect: Human Longevity and Social Impact. MICHAEL POLLAN “Playing God in the Garden”. Writing Thoughtfully About Causal Relationships. Writing Project: Exploring Some Causes of a Recent Event. The Writing Situation. The Writing Process. STUDENT WRITING: Daniel Eggers’s Writing Process.
DANIEL EGGERS “Was It Only a Dream?”. Alternative Writing Projects: Utopias and Dystopias. Chapter Summary.
11. Believing and Knowing: Writing to Analyze.
Ways of Forming Beliefs. Beliefs Based on Personal Experience. B. C. “Homeless in Prescott, Arizona”. NICHOLAS CONFESSORE “For Katrina Evacuee, Getting Help Is a Full-Time Job”. Beliefs Based on Indirect Experience. Evaluating Sources and Information. How Reliable Is the Source? What Are the Source’s Purposes and Interests? How Knowledgeable or Experienced Is the Source? Was the Source Able to Make Accurate Observations? How Reputable Is the Source? How Valuable Is Information from This Source? Believing and Knowing. MARK BOWDEN “The Story Behind the Story”. Knowledge and Truth. Understanding Relativism. Understanding Falsifiable Beliefs. The Media and Truth. Ways of Presenting Beliefs. Reporting Factual Information. Inferring from Evidence or Premises. STEPHEN JAY GOULD “Evolution as Fact and Theory”. Judging by Applying Criteria. Distinguishing Among Reports, Inferences, and Judgments. Presenting Beliefs in Your Writing. Writing Project: Analyzing Influences on Your Beliefs About a Social or Academic Issue. The Writing Situation. The Writing Process. STUDENT WRITING: Jessie Lange’s Writing Process. JESSIE LANGE “Dealing with Sex Offenders”. Alternative Writing Project: Evolving Beliefs in an Academic Field. Chapter Summary.
12. Solving Problems: Writing to Propose Solutions.
Problems in Personal and Civic Life. Basics of the Problem-Solving Method. 1. What Is the Problem? 2. What Are the Alternatives? 3. What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Each Alternative? 4. What Is the Solution? 5. How Well Is the Solution Working? The Problem-Solving Method in Detail. Before You Begin: Accepting the Problem. Step 1: What Is the Problem? Step 2: What Are the Alternatives? Step 3: What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Each Alternative? Step 4: What Is the Solution? Step 5: How Well Is the Solution Working? Solving Social Problems. NICHOLAS CARR “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” Taking a Problem-Solving Approach to Writing. Writing Project: Proposing a Solution to a Problem. The Writing Situation. The Writing Process. STUDENT WRITING: Joshua Bartlett’s Writing Process. JOSHUA BARTLETT, “Critical Thinking About Uncritical Drinking”. Alternative Writing Projects: Community Problems, Community Solutions. Chapter Summary.
13. Constructing Arguments: Writing to Persuade.
Principles of Argument. Classical Concepts of Argument. Links to the Thinking-Writing Model. Responsible Rhetoric. Modern Concepts of Argument. Recognizing Arguments. Two Friends Argue: Should Marijuana Be Legalized? PETER SINGER “Why We Must Ration Health Care”. LEONARD LASTER “Rationing Healthcare: A Second Opinion”. Arguments as Inferences. Constructing Arguments to Decide. Constructing Arguments to Explain. Constructing Arguments to Predict. Constructing Arguments to Persuade. Evaluating Arguments. Truth: How True Are the Supporting Reasons? Validity: Do the Reasons Support the Claim or Conclusion? Soundness: Is the Argument Both True and Valid? Forms of Argument. Deductive Reasoning. Other Deductive Forms. Inductive Reasoning. Causal Reasoning. Empirical Generalization. More Fallacies: Forms of False Reasoning. Hasty Generalization. Sweeping Generalization. False Dilemma. Begging the Question. Red Herring. Fallacies of Relevance. The Declaration of Independence. ELIZABETH CADY STANTON Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions. Deductive and Inductive Reasoning in Writing. Principles for Writing Responsible Arguments. Writing Project: Arguing a Position on a Significant Issue. The Writing Situation. The Writing Process. STUDENT WRITING: Josephine Cimino’s Writing Process. JOSEPHINE R. CIMINO “Cellular Phones in Public Schools”. Alternative Writing Project: The Pursuit of Happiness. Chapter Summary.
14. Thinking About Research: Writing About Investigations.
Rewards of Research. Starting with Questions. Questions That Identify Your Topic. Questions That Focus Your Topic. Searching for Information. Finding Electronic and Print Sources in the Library. Primary and Secondary Sources. Collecting Information from Experts and from the Field. Using Information. Evaluating Sources for a Research Project. Moving from Questions to Thesis. Understanding Plagiarism and Using Information Ethically. Taking Notes. Deciding When to Take Notes. Quoting and Paraphrasing. Characteristics of Effective Note-Taking Systems. Summarizing. Preparing an Annotated Bibliography. Integrating Source Material. Introducing Sources. Establishing Your Voice. Choosing Pronouns. The Logic Behind Documentation Formats. Reasons for Documentation. Using Common Knowledge. The Logic of MLA Style. Working Thoughtfully on Research Projects. Time. Planning and Outlining. Formats and Models. Collaboration. Writing Project: A Research Paper. The Writing Situation. The Writing Process. Annotated Student Research Paper with Outline and Drafts. Chris Buxton-Smith’s Writing Situation. Chris Buxton-Smith’s Writing Process. Sample Annotated Research Paper: Chris Buxton-Smith “Lest We Forget About Rwanda”. Chapter Summary.
MLA and APA Documentation Styles. Modern Language Association Style. Quick Reference. Citation Format. Accuracy and Completeness. Books. Government/Civic Documents. Periodicals. Nonprint Sources. Electronic Sources. American Psychological Association Style. Paper Format. Manuscript Format. Citation Format. Reference List Format. Electronic Sources. Text Citation Format. Quotations Within the Text.

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