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Critical Thinking English 0890

Critical Thinking English 0890

Author: Paula Domenico

In this unit students will:

  • Learn the difference between statements of fact, opinion, or blend of both.
  • Recognize bias in longer readings.
  • Analyze and evaluate errors in reasoning in various opinion statements.
  • Form an opinion based on a controversial topic.
  • Support that opinion with valid research.
  • Recognize errors in reasoning in one's own and others' opinions.

Although facts are statements that can be proven, this information can often be difficult to determine when it is embedded with an opinion.  Students must listen and read statements carefully to decide if the statement is a fact, opinion. or blend of both.

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Fact, Opinion, or Blend of Both

Determine the difference between fact, opinion or blend.

Source: Reading for Thinking, Laraine Flemming, amended by P. Domenico

Understanding Bias

Now that we have established the difference between statements of fact, opinion, or blends, let's see if we can recognize bias in the following.  Bias is formed when the writer exhibits a preference toward one opinion.

Analyzing and Evaluating an Argument

An argument consists of two opposing opinions.  Opinions must be supported with valid research or they will have errors in reasoning, also known as fallacies.  During the Salem Witch trials, scientific evidence was lacking, and a group of young girls accused many villagers of being witches.  This was one of the most blatant forms of personal attack (one of our fallacies) in history.

Source: You Tube

Errors in Reasoning

Errors in Reasoning Practice

View the following videos to see if you can recognize the errors in reasoning used during the trial of Scott Peterson, who was accused and later convicted of the murder of his wife, Laci, and their unborn child.  Laci Peterson disappeared on December 24, 2004.

Source: Powtoon