Assignment 1.2: Conflicting Viewpoints Essay – Part II When looking for information about a particular issue, how often do you try to resist biases toward your own point of view? This assignment asks you to engage in this aspect of critical thinking. In Part II of the assignment, you will write a paper to synthesize your ideas. Part II – Writing Write at three to four (3-4) page paper in which you: 1. State your position on the topic you selected for Assignment 1.1. 2. Identify (3) three premises (reasons) from the Procon.org website that support your position and explain why you selected these specific reasons. 3. Explain your answers to the “believing” questions about the three (3) premises opposing your position from the Procon.org website. 4. Examine at least two (2) types of biases that you likely experienced as you evaluated the premises for and against your position. 5. Discuss the effects of your own enculturation or group identification that may have influenced your biases. 6. Discuss whether or not your thinking about the topic has changed after playing the “Believing Game,” even if your position on the issue has stayed the same.
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1. Select one (1) of the approved topics (controversial issues) from the http://www.procon.org/ Website and state your position on the issue.

Assignment 1.1: Conflicting Viewpoints Essay – Part I

Prewriting

When looking for information about a particular issue, how often do you try to resist biases toward your own point of view? This assignment asks you to engage in this aspect of critical thinking by playing the “Believing Game.” The Believing Game is about making the effort to “believe” – or at least consider – the reasons for an opposing view on an issue.

The assignment is divided into two (2) parts.

In Part I of the assignment (due Week 2), you will first read a book excerpt about critical thinking processes: “The Believing Game and How to Make Conflicting Opinions More Fruitful” at http://www.procon.org/sourcefiles/believinggame.pdf. Next, you will review the Procon.org Website in order to gather information. Then, you will engage in prewriting to examine your thoughts.

INSTRUCTIONS

Part I -Â Prewriting: Follow the instructions below for this prewriting activity. Use complete sentences and adhere to standard rules of English grammar, punctuation, mechanics, and spelling.

1. Select one (1) of the approved topics (controversial issues) from the http://www.procon.org/ Website and state your position on the issue.

2. From the Procon.org Website, identify three (3) premises (reasons) listed under either the Pro or Con section from your approved topic – whichever section opposes your position.

3. For each of the three (3) premises (reasons) that oppose your position on the issue, answer these “believing” questions suggested by Elbow:

a. What’s interesting or helpful about this view?

b. What would I notice if I believed this view?

c. In what sense or under what conditions might this idea be true?”

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