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Critical Thinking PHIL 180: Instructions for Thought Papers Worksheet
This assignment in critical thinking should help you learn to write a structured response to a philosophical statement. Over the course of the term, you will email four (4) one-page responses to a philosophical quotation. See the course schedule for the assignment due dates. This is a graded assignment, so be sure to do all four!
I have made a list of preferred quotes from various sources on the second page of this sheet. They are from a variety of critical thinkers. Choose a quotation from the worksheet that makes you sit up and think. You don’t have to agree with the quotation, but you do need to understand it to write about it.
Carefully copy the quotation, and its author, at the top of the page.
For example (a previous quotation, not a choice this year):
“Wealth is strength. Wealth is power, wealth is influence, wealth is justice, is liberty, is real human rights.” Marcus Garvey
The paper should be written in three paragraphs.
Paragraph #1: you put in your own words what the author is saying, with no interpretation. You
paraphrase. It can be short, a few sentences.
Paragraph #2: Your second paragraph should be your reaction to his statement. You agree or disagree
with the quote. You build a logical argument. Each point should lead to the next. You should include
examples to illustrate your point.
(You might start out: “Mr. Garvey is wrong. Human rights do not belong just to the rich!” Or, “Mr.
Garvey is right! If you have money, you can make things happen!”)
Do not rant or use abusive language if you disagree. (The author is wrong/ mistaken because of X, Y, or
Z.) Use logical arguments and state them clearly.
Paragraph #3: Your last paragraph should summarize your findings on the quotation. (The author says X and I think Y.) No new material should be in the third paragraph. Draw it all together. You don’t need more than three paragraphs, usually, to make your point. All I am interested in here is the quotation and your response. You don’t need any other sources.
If you do use any sources, cite them. (Otherwise, it is plagerism and you get no credit.)
Be careful that you understand the meaning of all the words in the quotation. For example, the word minute can mean “sixty seconds” or it can mean “very small.” The context should make it clear if you read carefully, but some quotations are ambiguous, or have layers of meaning. Choose a quote you can understand. (If you have trouble with that, email me.)
Put your name, date, and Thought Paper # at the top of the page, followed by the quote, quote number, and author. Please type each paper in Word and keep it brief. Use your spell and grammar check. You may not recycle another paper or part of a paper, the work must be original. You may only use quotes from this quotation sheet, not from previous semesters or other sources. Your answers need to be clear, thoughtful, and well argued. If you can do this sort of assignment well, you will have an advantage over your co-workers who can’t express themselves well.
Title the attachment, as well as the email Subject, with your last name and Thought Paper #1, 2, 3,or 4. It will help me process faster.

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