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The focus of Chapter 2 is on the following aspects of thinking and writing critically:
Understanding critical thinking
Stating your arguments
Avoiding logical fallacies
Exploring critical thinking through writing
Writing a critique
The chapter ends with a critique writing task and peer review activity.
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS AND SUGGESTED ACTIVITIES
SUGGESTED ADDITIONAL ACTIVITY 1
Page 24: Discussion about critical thinking
1. After students have completed Task 1, the exploratory writing task, the instructor asks
students to do an informal peer review of each other’s work in groups of two or three;
students read each other’s exploratory writing and add comments to the text as
2. The instructor asks for volunteers to read their exploratory writing out aloud to the whole
3. In an open discussion, the instructor collates the key aspects of critical thinking that are
SUGGESTED ADDITIONAL ACTIVITY 2
Page 34: After Tasks 3 to 6: Logical fallacies
After students have completed Tasks 3 to 6, in which they link the definitions of common types
of logical fallacies to examples, students can create their own logical fallacies.
1. The instructor gives students 5 to 10 minutes to create an example of a logical fallacy.
2. Each student reads out their logical fallacy to the rest of the class.
3. In pairs, the other class members discuss which logical fallacy is being explained.
Page 34: Task 7
Some students find it challenging to apply passive understandings of critical thinking and logical
fallacies, as studied in Chapter 2, to active critical writing. Task 7 represents one way for
students to take the first step in applying what they have learned about logical fallacies to critical
writing. Task 7 allows students to apply knowledge through a range of writing genres: two less
formal genres that they may be using outside of academic contexts (a note to a friend and an
email message) and two more academic genres (free writing about a controversial topic and a
script for a two minute presentation to a tutorial group).
1. Students choose two of the four tasks. It may be useful in terms of raising awareness
about different writing styles to ask students to write one from 1 and 2 and on from 3 and
2. Students do an informal peer review of each other’s writing and add comments on the
3. The instructor shows students the four sample answers in the answer key and asks them
to discuss the style differences in each of the four samples.
4. Students write up a final version of the two pieces of writing and submit them, together
with the first drafts done in class. For each text, students also write a short paragraph
explaining how they changed the first draft and whether they made any changes based on
peer comments or analysis of the sample answers.
Answer key: Page 34: Task 7
Sample texts for Task 7 can be found in the answer key.
Page 35: Writing a Critique
The aim of the critique writing exercise is for students to build upon the more objective style of
summary writing that they did in Chapter 1. Writing a critique will involve adding aspects of
critical thinking and argument studied in Chapter 2.
Answer key: Task 9: Page 38
Sample answers for the Critique Peer Review Worksheet can be found in the answer key.
SUGGESTED ADDITIONAL ACTIVITY 3
An alternative form of critical writing that would also allow students to build upon what they
have studied in Chapters 1 and 2 would be a critical summary.
1. Students read and annotate (highlighting different opinions, and adding their own) either
the two articles on organic food in Chapter 1 or the three articles (including the student
essay) on lowering the legal drinking age for alcohol in Chapter 2.
2. Following the summary writing framework in Chapter 1, students write the introductory
section(s) for each text and list the key ideas that will follow.
3. The instructor explains that there are two ways that students can proceed:
Author by author: Summarize the ideas of each author in separate paragraphs and critique
Thematic: Choose relevant central themes and critically analyze the ideas of each author
together in the same paragraph, including students’ own opinions.1
4. Students do informal peer review, focusing on critical thinking and language of
attribution, rewrite, and submit.
SUGGESTED ADDITIONAL ACTIVITY 3
For consolidation, students can apply what they have learned in Chapters 1 and 2 to their
ongoing studies in the different disciplines. This can be done individually or in pairs.
1. Students select a recent writing task or assignment from their ongoing studies.
See Chapters 8 and 9 for detailed explanation of thematic essay structures as opposed to for-then-against
(argumentative) and case-by-case (comparative) essay structures.
2. They highlight and annotate the text, focusing on the language of attribution and aspects
of critical thinking.
3. Where they find weak attribution of ideas or weak critical thinking, they rewrite the text
more effectively and submit to their instructor.