Reasoning and Writing
From Critical Thinking to Composition

DONALD L. HATCHER and L. ANNE SPENCER
3rd ed., 2006, 422 pgs, $39.95
ISBN 978-0-89641-422-8

Reasoning And Writing

Reasoning and Writing is a college-level textbook designed for Critical Thinking classes. It is appropriate for English Composition, Communication and Journalism classes. In the third edition, the authors have improved the readability of this text by tightening the prose, adding inter-chapter references and footnotes and adding a preview paragraph and list of objectives at the beginning of each chapter. The presentation of the material in Chapters Seven and Eight has been reorganized to achieve a closer connection between the definition of critical thinking that runs throughoput the text and actual practice with argument evaluation. The crucial connection between evaluating arguments and writing a thesis has been reinforced. Much more practice material has been added. The Appendices have been re-organized and expanded to include more relevant material to critical thinking and composition.

CONTENTS

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    Chapter 1: WHY CRITICAL THINKING?
    Introduction
    Ten Arguments for the value of critical thinking
    Critical thinking and writing complement each other
    The limits of critical thinking and rationality
    Summary and conclusion
    Exercises

  • Chapter 2: WHAT IS CRITICAL THINKING?
    The nature of critical thinking
    Understanding the definition of critical thinking
    What critical thinking is not
    Building an environment to nurture critical thinking
    The skills and dispositions of critical thinking
    Some hindrances to critical thinking
    Summary and conclusion
    Exercises

  • Chapter 3: UNDERSTANDING THE ISSUE
    Introduction
    Some helpful tools for understanding an issue
    Summarizing what is said
    Summary and conclusion
    Exercises

  • Chapter 4: EVALUATING ARGUMENTS: VALIDITY AND DEDUCTIVE REASONING
    Introduction
    Opinions and arguments
    Formal arguments understood as conditional statements
    Formal arguments have major and minor premises
    Premises and conclusions must be identified
    Enthymemes are arguments with missing premises
    The concept of a valid deductive argument
    Symbolizing an argument shows its logical form
    Implications for critical thinkers
    Summary and conclusion
    Exercises

  • Chapter 5: INDUCTIVE LOGIC
    On deduction and induction
    Inductive generalizations based on personal experience
    Inductive inferences based on controlled experimentation
    The logic of correlation studies
    Analogical reasoning
    Summary and conclusion
    Exercises

  • Chapter 6: INFORMAL FALLACIES
    The genetic fallacy
    The fallacy of appealing to a questionable authority
    The fallacy of appealing to ignorance
    The fallacy of appealing to numbers
    The fallacies of division and composition
    The fallacy of equivocation
    The false-cause fallacy
    The slippery slope fallacy
    The false-dilemma fallcy
    The straw person fallacy
    Exercises

  • Chapter 7: REASONING TO WRITING
    Preparing to write a critical paper
    Understanding and claifying the issue
    Using the Modus Ponen argument strategy
    Using the Modus Tollens argument strategy
    Using the Disjunctive Syllogism argument strategy
    Choosing the most reasonable position
    Constructing a thesis
    Expanding the thesis into a sentence outline
    Summary and conclusion
    Review and planning sheets
    Exercises

  • Chapter 8: WRITING FROM REASONING
    The critical paper
    Writing and introduction
    Clarifying a claim
    Developing individual arguments
    Presenting alternatives and objections
    Writing a conclusion
    The importance of editing and revision
    Exercises

  • Chapter 9: SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS

  • Glossary

  • Appendix A: A METHOD OF SHOWING VALIDITY

  • Appendix B: CRITICAL THINKING AND ETHICS

  • Apendix C: READINGS

  • Appendix D: SAMPLE CRITICAL PAPERS

  • INDEX

ABOUT THE AUTHORS . . .

Donald L. Hatcher is a professor of Philosophy and Religion at Baker University in Baldwin City, KS. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Kansas.

L. Anne Spencer is a professor of Foreign Languages and Computer Science at Baker University in Baldwin City, KS. She also received her Ph.D. from the University of Kansas.