Critical Thinking and Critical Read

22 September – 6 October 2018

This LT breaks our usual mould. Please read the entire trigger carefully.

Critical thinking and critical reading bring together most of the modes of inquiry we have gone through in this course.

Part 1 [on LT9-Reading A]

The LT9-Reading A: “Justifying”  is Chapter 9 of the book Introduction to Rational Inquiry.

Read the chapter. Reflect on how it is related to the previous readings.

Make a note of your thoughts and questions.

Part II [LT9-Reading B]

Part II of LT9 is on Critical Reading. Please read carefully the material below, and follow the instructions given on the next page.

Critical reading involves a number of important ingredients. A to E below spell them out.

[Note: These are also the ingredients of critical listening — simply replace ‘author’ with ‘speaker’.]

A. Identifying and articulating the author’s claim(s): Often, claims are not clearly articulated. So we have to figure them out as best as we can, with the awareness that what we come up with may not be what the author intended to claim. If the author is available for consultation, we may check with them if our interpretation matches their intention.

B. Identifying and articulating the author’s justification for the claim(s): Often, the background assumptions, grounds, and steps of justification are left implicit; or the propositions may be unclear. As with A, we need to unearth the justification and make it explicit, and if possible, check with the author if our version matches their intention.

C. Identifying and formulating other considerations that support or refute the claim(s): The author may not have brought these up.

D. Critically evaluating the background assumptions, grounds, and reasoning in B and C, and arriving at a judgment on the soundness of the overall justification for the claim.

            E. Arriving at a judgment, based on the above, whether we should accept the claim, reject it, or reserve it for future assessment.

You might remember, at the beginning of IIE-2018, on May 25, 2018, we sent you a document on critical thinking and critical reading titled:

“7 IIE-2018 Intro to Critical Reading.docx”

It had three exercises for you to think about and play with (but not to submit answers to).

The LT9 Reading B, “Critical Reading”  is a variation on that document. It has the same three exercises.

Read the document, keeping in mind A-E (ingredients of critical reading) above.

Once you have read it, and thought about the exercises, here is what you need to do.

1. For discussion on the Discussion Forum

Do the exercises, and write down your thoughts for responses. These thoughts are not for submission, but preparation for discussion on the Discussion Forum.

To make sure that everyone has had a chance to work on the exercises, please start posting your thoughts on the Forum ONLY AFTER OCT 1st.

2. For submission as Quiz 9, Question 1

You have to answer EITHER of the two possibilities, A or B, below. Which one you will pick will depend on your answers to the following questions:

  1. Did you attempt the critical reading exercises in “7 IIE-2018 Intro to Critical Reading.docx”? YES/NO
  2. Did you write down your thoughts? YES/NO
  3. If you did, can you retrieve your responses? YES/NO

Possibility A:

TASK: If your answer to question (c) above is YES:

then compare your responses from then and from now. Write down the difference(s) you find in your responses, and in the ways you arrived at those responses, between your earlier attempt (Pre-IIE), and your current attempt (nearly-Post-IIE).

Possibility B:

TASK: If your answer to question (c) above is no, that is fine.

Try to think about what the difference(s) might be in your responses, and in the ways you arrived at those responses, between then and now.


Quiz 9 will be available online on September 29 for you to complete.

Please submit your answers by Monday, October 1, 8 pm at: