Critical Content: documented writing in the academic world

Critical Content

                    documented writing in the academic world

Note:  a brief summary of the thinking/writing process is available at Contingencies, the instructor's handbook. Students might also find it a concise introduction and review of the the modes and the tools for using them as tools for critical thinking.

     CHAPTER 1

          The City of Academic Discourse: discourse communities and credibility


          A.     What’s a Discourse Community, and How Is It Like a Walled City?

          B.     Gatekeepers Regulate What Gets Through the Gate and Into the City

                    i.   Your Writing is Credible (or not) to a Specific Audience

                    ii.  Credible Writing Connects to Knowledge that Has Already Passed Through the Gate and into the Discourse Community

                    iii. What Are the Four Walls of the Discourse Community?

          C.     Tools and Credentials for Regulating Academic Discourse

                    i.     What do the Gatekeepers Look for?

                    ii.     How are the Gatekeepers Educated?

                    iii. How Do the Gatekeepers Assess a Document that Wants to Pass Through the Gate and into the City?

          D.     The Credible and the True

                    i. Credible . . . to a Specific Audience

          E.     The credible and the True: Ethical Issues

                    i.     Do Arguments Disprove Other Viewpoints?

                    ii.     Are All Statements Equally True?

                    iii.     Does the Statement Use the Discourse?

          F.     Assessing a Publication’s Credibility  


          G.     Assessing Ethics



CHAPTER 2     

          A Writer’s Toolkit

          A.     Thinking and Writing: the Map Metaphor

                    i.   Mapping Existing Knowledge: TEQ Sheets for Useful Readings

                    ii.  Naming the Gaps in the Map: The Purpose and Problem Statement

                    iii.     Proposing the New Map: The Prospectus

          B.     A Flowchart of the Mapping Process

          C.     A Checklist for Writing to Learn

          D.     Summary



          Discovery Methods: developing a claim

          A.     Writing to Learn

          B.     Identifying the Task

                    i.   Freewriting

                    ii.     Other Freewriting Techniques

                    iii.     Recognizing Internal and External Forces

                    iv.     Terms, Expectations & Question: the TEQ Sheet

                    v.     Purpose & Problem Statement

          C.     Writing to Communicate

                         i.  The Prospectus

                         ii.     Audience Analysis

                         iii.     Gathering Support

                         iv.     Paragraph Development

                         v.     Developing and Sustaining a Claim

          D.     Consequences



          Paragraphs as Miniaturized Papers

          A.     The Purpose of Paragraphs

          B.     Essential Criteria for Paragraphs

                         i.     Unity

                         ii.     Coherence

                         iii.     Development

          C.     Types of Paragraphs

                         i.     Introductory Paragraphs

                         ii.     How to Develop a Thesis Statement

                         iii.     The Thesis as a Departure Point

                         iv.     Body Paragraphs

                         v.  Concluding Paragraphs

          D.     Summary



          Research: resources and techniques

          A.     The Keystone Approach

                         i. Logos: Identifying a Keystone Document

          B.     Managing the Information

          C.     Techniques for Finding Expertise

                         i.     What Are Good Places to Build Key Terms for Searches?

                         ii.     Identifying Expert Terms and Sources With Online Tools

          D.     Tools for Finding Information

                         i.     What is a Search Engine?

                         ii.  What Kinds of Information Do General Search Engines Locate?

                         iii. Do Search Engines Search the Entire Web?

                         iv.     How Are the Results of General Search Engines Organized?

                         v.  Are There Specialized Search Engines?

                         vi.The Filter Bubble

                         vii.The Relevance Paradox

          E.     Library Databases and Why We Should Use Them

                         i.  Do Some Databases Focus on Specific Disciplines?

                         ii. Are Library Databases the Best Sources of Information?

          F.     Other Databases and Online Resources

                         i.     Advanced Search Techniques

          G.     Building on the TEQ Sheet: Annotated Bibliographies

                         i.     Paraphrase and Quotation

          H.     Why Academic Papers Cite Sources



          Building the Claim

          A.     Moving From Discovery to Drafting

                         i. Using the Planning Materials

          B.     Using Discovery Materials in the Rough Draft

                         i.     Talk and Write to Knowledgeable People

                         ii.     Revising the Purpose & Problem Statement

                         iii. Revise the Prospectus as Many Times as Needed

                         iv.     Consider the Progress of Your Thinking and Writing

          C.     The First Rough Draft

                         i. Create Body Paragraphs for the Ideas in Your Prospectus

          D.     The Intermediate Draft

                         i. Continue to Use New Information, Comments, and Ideas

          E.     The Submission Draft

                         i. Orienting Tactics

          F.      A Flow Chart for Building Document



          Structuring the Document

               A.     Writing to Learn

                              i. Tools for Writing to Learn


               B.     Writing to Communicate

               C.     Why the Five-Paragraph Paper Does Not Work

               D.     The Pivot Paper: An Alternative to the Five-Paragraph Paper

                              i. The Four-Function Paragraph as a Miniature Paper

               E.     Citation Demonstrates Credibility and Enables Further Discovery

               F.     A Three-Part Framework: Notes - Paper - Works Cited

                              i. The Notes

               G.     Modern Language Association (MLA) Formats

                              i.  MLA In-Text Citations: Parenthetical Citations

                              ii. MLA Works Cited

               H.     American Psychological Association (APA) Formats

                              i.   Part I: the APA Title Page

                              ii . Part II: the APA Abstract

                              iii. Part III: the Body

                              iv. APA In-Text Citations: Parenthetical Citations                                   v. Part IV: The APA Reference List

                              vi. Sources for APA Citations Formats

                    I.     Citation in a Digital Culture

                                        i. Digital Object Identifiers


CHAPTER 8:  Argument as Critical Thinking


          A.     What is the Question Really About?

                              i. Questions about Argumentation

          B.     Evidence and Claims

                              i.      Inductive Reasoning

                              ii.      Deductive Reasoning and the Big “If”

                              iii.  Logical Fallacies

                              iv.   Evidence and Argument

                              v.    Weasel Words

                              vi.   Lying With Numbers

                              vii.      Anecdotal Evidence

          C.     Key Terms

          D.     Writing to Learn: Using the Map Metaphor in Argumentative Papers

                              i.     Terms, Expectations, and Questions (TEQ) Sheets

                              ii.           Sample TEQ Sheet #1

                              iii.          Sample

          E.     Writing to Communicate: the First Full Draft

                              i. Assessing the First, Full Draft

          F.     A Flow Chart for Argumentative Writing

          G.     Summary

CHAPTER 8.1:      Reading and Writing Visual Arguments

          H. Reading Argumentative Images

                              i. Words and Images Work Together

                              ii.The History of an Image

                              iii. Images Have Consequences


                              iv. The Intention is Not the Meaning


          I. Reading Informative Images

                              i.  Creating Discussion


                              ii. Summarizing Information

                              iii. Summarizing Numerical Information


          J. Summary





The following chapters are shortened versions of the corresponding chapters in Critical Modes.

They can serve as reviews of essential modes or as an introduction to

the modes as facets of a bigger process: critical thinking.

1. Narration: stories that create meaning

2. Description: creating a dominant impression

3. Illustration: clarifying your emerging insight

4. Comparison and Contrast: finding contexts for meaning

5. Classification: recognizing the map’s naming system

6. Definition: boundaries that create meaning

7. Process: identifying the “how”

8. Cause and Effect: identifying the “why”