1. Description of the Issue or Problem
Briefly summarize the issue clearly and objectively. Describe the main ideas or aspects of the issue.
Without bias, describe the main ideas and events related to the issue.
What definitions help inform the issue?
What factors influence this issue?
What to look for:
Description – Main ideas, events
Description – Key Definitions
Description – Influences
Objectively examine multiple positions, perspectives and beliefs. Include positions held by professionals and experts.
How is this issue understood by different people?
What are common assumptions and beliefs about the issue?
What do experts say about the issue?
Positions – What are common positions from the media, or people in communities or organizations?
Positions – What do experts and professionals say?
Positions – Student position as informed by relevant experiences
3. Evaluating Evidence
Evaluate evidence to identify strengths and weaknesses in arguments and counter-arguments including bias, authority, validity and strength. Are these sources and evidence reliable and credible? Why?
How reliable and credible are the various arguments or positions presented? What information does or does not stand up to scrutiny?
Evidence – Evaluate credibility of arguments
Evidence – Evaluate relevance of information
Evidence – Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the arguments
4. Comparing Positions
Without bias, compare and contrast positions, arguments and ideas.
What essential arguments, positions, ideas and evidence should be included in the final analysis?
What are the implications of the different positions?
Comparison – Compares essential arguments & positions
Comparison –What are implications of positions?
5. Personal Position
Connect facts, assumptions, evidence and perspectives to draw conclusions and develop arguments. Recognize and respond to counterarguments and weaknesses about the position you support.
What perspectives do you agree with and why?
Are you ready to formulate a position? If so, what is your position on the issue?
What evidence supports this position?
What arguments challenge your position?
Personal Position – Connects facts, evidence
Personal Position – Presents own position
Personal Position – Withholds judgement
Personal Position – Supports position and responds to counterarguments
Personal Position– Identifies potential implications
6. Further Questions
What further questions, sources or information would guide next steps in exploring this issue?
What resources or ideas might provide more insight into this issue?
What further questions should be asked?
Further Questions – What are future implications
Further Questions – What additional insights or questions should be considered?
Evaluating Critical Thinking