Logic Writing Assignments

These are the specific writing assignments for Dr. Young's logic and critical thinking class. The first link is given below. Other links will be given as they become available.


You will have at least two weeks to do each assigned paper. Immediately after the deadline for each paper, a model paper containing all the required information (and some extra) will be posted online together with the new assignment for that two-week period. Whenever I can, I will post new assignments earlier than the previous deadline, but since some assignments will require you to know the correct answers to previous questions, I won't always be able to do this.

I will add links to the newer assignments as I get them written. Do the assignments in the order given below. If you miss the deadline for any assignment you will get zero points for that assignment, but you will still be able to do all the subsequent assignments.

I suggest you do the assignment as soon as it becomes available, so that you don't miss any deadlines.

Critical thinking is the consistent and careful application of logic to statements made by yourself and others. This exercise will give you practice in thinking clearly and logically about a set of claims made by one writer about another writer. You will first clearly and precisely explain a writer's article in your own words. Next, you will clearly and precisely explain what another says about that article. Then you will take take some of the main points of dispute between these articles and figure out which of the two writers is closer to the truth on that point. Finally, you will write an overall appraisal of the dispute, commenting on the respective accuracy and integrity.

First Assignment: Keenan - Answer

Second Assignment: Pollak - Answer

Third Assignment: Military - Answer

Fourth Assignment: Let Women Die - Answer

Fifth Assignment: Make It Seem - or  Extreme -   (Your choice.)

Sixth Assignment: The Bottom Line

This whole exercise is intended as an introduction to the process of evaluating value claims made by one online writer about another. It is not intended to change your mind about any political issue, nor is it intended to influence your opinion of the kinds of writers involved in this dispute.

This exercise is intended to give you practice in making a step-by-step, point-by-point analysis of a single short article criticizing another short article. This particular dispute was chosen because a friend posted a link to one of these articles on FaceBook, and it struck me that the claims made in each article were clear, simple, easy to check and easy to analyze. For this reason, I thought that this would make an effective exercise by which to introduce students to the idea of critical thinking.

The official deadlines for these assignments are in the class syllabus.


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