How Can I Get An A In This Class? The Good News: There Are Lots of Guides to Help You The Bad News: They All Say Pretty Much What Your Professors (and Parents) Say Worse News: It Looks Very Much Like Work Worst of All: Its a Time Eater – 2000 Hours to Proficiency
How Can I Get An A In This Class? Develop Good Study Habits Recognize And Hone Your Learning Styles Use This Textbook Effectively Will This Be On The Test? Decide Today to get an A Failure is an Option – Your Option Deal with problems Immediately Be Prepared to Change
Approaches to Truth and Knowledge Analytical: Break down into component parts Creative: Look for new approaches Logical: Use orderly approach, test consistency Critical: What are goals? How Good is Data? Reflective: What does it all mean?
Learning Styles Visual, Spatial: Maps, Diagrams, Charts Verbal, Auditory: Lectures, Discussions Logical: Find Patterns and Structure Active: Hands-On, Labs, Field Trips Where does it say you can only learn one way?
What Do I Need To Think Critically? Skepticism and Independence – Question your own skepticism Open-Mindedness and Flexibility – But Dont Let Things Fall Out Accuracy and Orderliness – Check Facts, Keep them Straight Persistence and Relevance – Dont Let Yourself be Sidetracked Contextual Sensitivity and Empathy – Dont let Yourself be Manipulated
What Do I Need To Think Critically? Facts The More the Better – How Science Works – What Science Has Determined – Present Controversies Whats Known, Alleged, Unproven Who Supports What – Cultural Awareness
Dont Believe Everything You See, or Hear On the News What Political Positions are Represented? Who Stands to Gain? Whos Paying for the Message? What Sources are Used and how Credible are They? Evidence? Statistics? Citations? One Sided versus Impartial? Facts and Logic versus Emotional Appeal?
Avoiding Logical Errors And Fallacies Red Herring Straw Man Ad Hominem (Personal Targeting) Generalization and Anecdotal Evidence False Causality and Denial of Causality – Most of the Time, Things Are What They Seem Non-Sequiturs, Missing Links
Avoiding Logical Errors And Fallacies Appeal to Ignorance (Science Cant Explain …) – Most of the Time, Science Can Explain It Appeal to Authority Begging (Evading) the Question – Begging = Raising or Inspiring = Illiterate Word Games, Double Meanings, Loaded Terms Slippery Slope, Where do you Draw the Line? False Dichotomy
An issue is decided by: Facts and logic Not by who holds the position or why But those factors can alert us to: – Possible bias – Facts and logic that need checking – Whats omitted Be Careful of Things That Mesh Too Well With Your Own Beliefs
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