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A Checklist for Reasoning & Questions Using the Elements of Thought. The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking by Drs. Richard Paul & Linda Elder. 8 Items to Consider about Reasoning: All reasoning …. ...has a PURPOSE

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a checklist for reasoning questions using the elements of thought

A Checklist for Reasoning&Questions Using the Elements of Thought

The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking

by Drs. Richard Paul & Linda Elder

8 items to consider about reasoning all reasoning
8 Items to Consider about Reasoning:All reasoning…
  • ...has a PURPOSE
  • ...is an attempt to figure something out, to settle some QUESTION, to solve some PROBLEM
  • ...is based on ASSUMPTIONS
  • ...is done from some POINT OF VIEW
  • ...is based on DATA, INFORMATION, & EVIDENCE
  • ...is expressed through, shaped by, CONCEPTS & THEORIES
  • ...contains INFERENCES or INTERPRETATIONS by which we draw CONCLUTIONS & make data meaningful
  • ...leads somewhere or has IMPLICATIONS & CONSEQUENCES
all reasoning
All reasoning…
  • ...has a PURPOSE
    • Can you state your purpose clearly?
    • What is the objective of your reasoning?
    • Does your reasoning focus throughout on your goal?
    • Is your goal realistic?
all reasoning4
All reasoning…
  • ...is an attempt to figure something out, to settle some QUESTION, to solve some PROBLEM
    • What questions are your trying to answer?
    • Are there other ways to think about the question?
    • Can you divide the question into parts?
    • Is there one or possibly multiple “right” answers?
    • Does it require judgment rather than facts alone?
all reasoning5
All reasoning…
  • ...is based on ASSUMPTIONS
    • What assumptions are made; are they justified?
    • How are they shaping your point of view?
    • Which assumptions might reasonably be questioned?
all reasoning6
All reasoning…
  • ...is done from some POINT OF VIEW
    • What is your p.o.v.? What are basic insights; possible weaknesses?
    • What are other p’s.o.v. to be considered in reasoning through the problem; their strengths/weaknesses; are you being fair-minded in your consideration of the insights underlying these alternatives?
all reasoning7
All reasoning…
  • ...is based on DATA, INFORMATION, & EVIDENCE
    • Extent to which your reasoning is supported by relevant data?
    • Do these data suggest alternative explanations from those currently held?
    • How clear, accurate, relevant are these data given the question/problem under consideration?
    • Have you gathered sufficient data to reach a reasonable conclusion?
all reasoning8
All reasoning…
  • ...is expressed through, shaped by, CONCEPTS &THEORIES
    • What key concepts/theories guide reasoning
    • What alternative explanations might be possible given these concepts/theories?
    • Are you clear & precise in using these concepts/theories?
    • Are you distorting ideas to fit your p.o.v.?
all reasoning9
All reasoning…
  • ...contains INFERENCES or INTERPRETATIONS by which we draw CONCLUTIONS & make data meaningful
    • To what extent do the data support your conclusions?
    • Are your inferences consistent with each other?
    • Other reasonable inferences to be made?
all reasoning10
All reasoning…
  • ...leads somewhere or has IMPLICATIONS & CONSEQUENCE
    • What implications & consequences follow from your reasoning?
    • If accepted, your line of reasoning leads to which implications or consequences?
questions using the elements of thought
Questions Using the Elements of Thought
  • Purpose
    • What am I trying to accomplish?
    • What is my central aim; my purpose?
  • Questions
    • What am I raising?
    • What am I addressing?
    • Am I considering the complexities?
questions using the elements of thought12
Questions Using the Elements of Thought
  • Information
    • What am I using in coming to my conclusion/s?
    • What experiences have I had to support claims?
    • What do I need to settle the question?
  • Inferences/Conclusions
    • How did I reach this conclusion?
    • Are there other ways to interpret the information?
questions using the elements of thought13
Questions Using the Elements of Thought
  • Concepts
    • What’s the main idea here?
    • Can I explain this idea?
  • Assumptions
    • What am I taking for granted?
    • What has led me to this conclusion?
questions using the elements of thought14
Questions Using the Elements of Thought
  • Implications/Consequences
    • If my position is accepted, what would be the implications?
    • What am I implying?
  • Point/s of View
    • From what p.o.v. am I looking at the issue/s?
    • Other p’s.o.v. that should be considered?