CRITICAL THINKING ASSIGNMENT
How To Evaluate Authors’ Reasoning
Gloyd, 2004, Sapping the Poor (On Canvas)
In this worksheet, you analyze the parts of an article and determine the quality of author’s reasoning.
USE SHORT, TIGHT, and MEANING-LADEN PHRASES TO ANSWER THIS WORKSHEET. No more than 1-8 words (that succinctly and precisely captures the meaning of the text). Be sure your answers address the course theme of political economy!
1) The primary point of the article is______________________________________________________________________________________________
2) The article is written from what kind of authority? ___________________________________________________________________________
(Who is the author? What is their training and background? How do they claim expertise? You might have to dig for this)
3) What is the key problem the author addresses? _____________________________________________________________________________
4) About what is the author trying to persuade you?
5) Name 2 main assumptions underlying the author’s thinking
(Ask yourself: What generalizations does the author make? Unstated assumptions often link to an author’s perspective. Said another way, what generalizations about the world does the author not even think to defend? This is one of the hardest aspects learn to identify; nevertheless, identify two.)
6) In 10 words or fewer, what is the author’s general conclusion?
(For what point it there the best evidence?)
7) Quote 3 key “lines of evidence” for the conclusion in 6), with page numbers. If quotes run more than 8 words, no problem.
(What are the most important ideas the author presented to support his conclusion? Include page numbers)
(Did the author succeed in convincing you of his position? Yes or No? __________________________________)