PHL 2020 Critical Thinking Paper Assignment Due Date: See the Reading and Assignment Schedule for the due date of the paper (unless otherwise instructed in an announcement and/or the link for these instructions). As a general guide to writing, use the same “writing guidelines” sheet posted on Blackboard. Make sure you reference the text. You may use the following model for parenthetical references (e.g. “….” (UA, p. #). … Or in footnotes e.g. “Robert J. Fogelin and Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, Understanding Arguments: an Introduction to Informal Logic, p. #.” As the “writing guidelines” sheet says, you are required to use references when and where required. Please see the remarks on the University’s plagiarism policy below. Write a paper 950 - 1000 words in length on the topic below. On the first page, put your name and your section number. Please use page numbers. Be sure to address those points from the readings and lectures that are most important to your argument, but also be sure to make some original contribution to the discussion. While it is fine to draw on the materials from the lessons, be sure to present the material in your own way and in your own words. Use all of the knowledge you have gained thus far in the course about analyzing, evaluating and critiquing arguments. You must also follow the assignment as it is described here. Failure to do so will lower your grade. See the same “writing guidelines” sheet for details about how the papers will be graded. Paper Topics (Choose one of the following): 1. Abortion. Write on either the article by Mary A. Warren’s “Abortion” (see UA9, pp. 397 - 408) or the article by Don Marquis’ argument (UA9, pp. 409 – 419; UA8, pp. 459-475 or in UA7, pp. 497-506); briefly reconstruct the argument of the author in its most basic form. 2. Same-sex Marriage Examining either article on same-sex marriage (see Course Readings section of Blackboard), briefly reconstruct the argument of the author in its most basic form. 3. Death Penalty Examining either article on the death penalty (see Course Readings section of Blackboard), briefly reconstruct the argument of the author in its most basic form. Any additional sources as well as the sources you use from the class and our text should be properly referenced using one reference method from a standard writing style guide. If you use any additional sources, they should all also be included in a bibliography or works cited page. Students are required to be aware of and comply with the University’s policy regarding plagiarism. Any papers found to be guilty of any type of plagiarism which the University recognizes will receive an “F” on the assignment. All papers will be submitted to ww w.turnitin.com to check for plagiarism. Assignment Instructions: I. Bring Paragraph(s) to Class for Peer Review By the date indicated in our Reading and Assignment Schedule, you need to bring a rough draft of your summary of the author’s view to class. Please note that your rough draft need be only one to three paragraphs long but should be written in complete sentences. You do not need to write the whole paper yet. Here are a few details on what you should include in your rough draft: (1) Choose ONLY one article from the following authors and topics (see the list above): Abortion (Mary A. Warren or Don Marquis in UA 9th ed., pp. 397 - 419); Same-sex marriage (Schulman or Sullivan in Course Readings section of Blackboard); Death penalty (J.S. Mill or J. Reiman in the Course Readings section of Blackboard); (2) Identify the main thesis of the author's main argument. (3) Summarize the author's main argument that he or she offers in support of her thesis; for the paragraph(s) you bring to class, you need only have a brief summary, but the more details you provide, the more feedback you can receive. (4) Critique (Offer what you think is a strong objection to the author's argument regardless of whether you agree with the main thesis); please note the mere fact that you or others disagree with the author's view is not a weakness in the argument from a logical or critical thinking point of view. Putting the argument you will be summarizing in its standard form--premises and conclusion--is sufficient for me to see if you are on the right track. If you would like more feedback please do include details in the summary of the argument. I will explain the assignment further in class. II. Critique After we have done our in-class peer review, be sure to write a critical part of your paper. Generally this should be from 25% to 50% of your entire paper when you are done with your final draft. Here are a few details on what you should include in your critique: 1. Identify the type of argument: Deductive or Nondeductive (inductive or abductive Recall the exercise we did distinguishing deductive from inductive arguments. Follow the same procedure here to identify what type(s) of argument(s) the author uses to demonstrate or support his or her main thesis/conclusion. Note that authors often consider others arguments only to reject them. So be sure you identify what conclusion the author is actually endorsing. Also authors often use a combination of arguments—both deductive and nondeductive—to support their main conclusions. 2. Evaluate the argument: If it is deductive you will need to decide if it is sound or unsound and explain why. If it is nondeductive, then decide if it is strong or weak and explain why. Some common types of nondeductive arguments—predictions about the future of society if a policy or practice (e.g. the death penalty or legalization of same-sex marriage) is allowed or prohibited. If the author uses an abductive argument, be sure to use those standards (explanatoriness, depth, power, etc.) that we used (Homework #5) to assess abductive arguments (inference to the best explanation). If the argument is nondeductive, does the author offer any evidence at all to support the conclusion? If so, then does the evidence make the conclusion likely to be true? If not, why not? 3. Decide if the author has successfully supported or proven his or her conclusion. Here you can use your own best judgment in the light of step #2 above. In the light of step #2 above, do you agree or disagree with the author’s argument? Why or why not? (Note that if you’ve sufficiently explained your evaluation in step #2 above, your explanation here can use that evaluation.) III. Finish your final draft Once your paragraph(s) and peer review is handed back to you with my feedback, finish your summary of the author’s main line of argument as well as your critique. Turn it in to the link in the Paper Assignment section of Blackboard.