Becoming a Critical Thinker: A User Friendly Manual

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  • Edition: 4th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2005-01-01
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall
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For courses in Critical Thinking, Informal Logic, Rhetoric, Argumentation, and English courses which cover the Argumentative Essay. This text trains students to distinguish high-quality, well-supported arguments from arguments with little or no evidence to support them. It develops the skills required to effectively evaluate the many claims facing them as citizens, learners, consumers, and human beings, and also to be effective advocates for their beliefs.

Table of Contents

For students
Study Guide Modules contain multiple choice and true false quizzes, essay questions, and other features designed to help students with self-study
Reference Modules provide the opportunity to quickly reach information on the Web that relates to the content in the text
Communication Modules include tools such as Live Chat and Message Boards to facilitate online collaboration and communication
Personalization Modules include our enhanced Help feature that contains a text page for browsers and plug-ins
For instructors
The Syllabus Manager tool provides an easy-to-follow process for creating, posting, and revising a syllabus online that is accessible from any point within the companion website
The Companion Website makes integrating the Internet into your course exciting and easy
Join us online and enter a new world of teaching and learning
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.


Everyone thinks. If you ask people where they stand on a particular issue, they will usually tell you what they believe and give reasons to support their beliefs. Many people, however, find it difficult to evaluate a written or spoken commentary on a controversial issue because both sides of the controversy seem to have good arguments. Thecriticalthinker is able to distinguish high-quality, well-supported arguments from arguments with little or no evidence to back them. This text trains students to evaluate the many claims facing them as citizens, learners, consumers, and human beings; it also helps students become more effective advocates for their beliefs. Becoming a Critical Thinkeris designed to be interdisciplinary and to be useful in courses in critical thinking, informal logic, rhetoric, English, speech, journalism, humanities, and the social sciences. It has also been used as either a required text or a supplement in nursing programs and in workshops in staff development and business management. There are important skills that distinguish critical thinkers across various disciplines; the goal of this text is to present and teach these skills in a clear and comprehensible manner. UNIQUE FEATURES The process of becoming a critical thinker takes place when critical thinking concepts and skills are clearly understood and put into practice. For this reason, many aspects of the text have been chosen because of their practical application for the student: Each concept is explained with examples, and the examples often proceed from the personal to the social or political. In this way, students can see that the same skills used in understanding arguments in daily life are used in analyzing political and commercial rhetoric. Graphic illustrations help students visualize important concepts. Exercises of varying levels of difficulty are given throughout the chapters to help students practice critical thinking skills. Emphasis is placed on understanding and analyzing the vital impact of print and electronic media on arguments. Students are taught to construct and present arguments so that they can gain skill and confidence as advocates for their beliefs. There is an early and primary emphasis on understanding conflicting value systems and on ethics in argumentation and decision-making. The articles and essays selected for use in the text are contemporary and express a variety of social and political viewpoints and ethical concerns. Multicultural perspectives are presented throughout the examples and articles. Many exercises and assignments encourage students to understand the perspectives of others and to broaden their own perspectives. There is a variety of writing and speaking assignments at the end of each chapter as well as a "Chapter Checkup" that tests students' knowledge of the information covered and provides a guideline for reviewing important concepts. The text is supplemented with an instructor manual and test bank in addition to a Companion Web site and an E-book that contain examples of critical thinking principles that can be used for classroom discussion. SPECIFIC CHANGES IN THE FOURTH EDITION As with previous editions, this fourth edition ofBecoming a Critical Thinkerhas been updated with two priorities in mind: First, we wanted to retain and improve the user-friendly format of the first three editions. Also, we wanted to update readings and concepts so that readers will enjoy the application of critical thinking principles to current issues. New features in the fourth edition include: Expanded supplementary resources for instructors. These include an instructor manual with revised tests for each chapter and an answer key, discussions of chapter exercises, and suggestions for teaching critical thinking concepts. In addition, a Companion Web site and

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