evaluating evidence using critical thinking H u m a n i t i e s

evaluating evidence using critical thinking H u m a n i t i e s


According to a report by the AAC&U, the list of desired skills offered by employers includes critical thinking, ethical judgement and integrity, intercultural skills, and the capacity for continued/new learning. One of the most effective ways to achieve these skills is to cultivate habits of reading widely and regularly, and then thinking critically about what you read. These reading habits should include keeping up with important current events and problems. In fact, one of the traits found in common in a study of successful people was “a passion and dedication for reading (Links to an external site.)” (Wu). Warren Buffet, for example, once suggested reading 500 pages a day in order to continue to grow and succeed! For the assignment you are working on now, you are researching multiple sources in order to cultivate rhetorical reading/thinking, as well as composition skills for engaging the writing of others.

In order to develop your skills in intercultural communication, diversity, ethical judgement, and integrity, you must read outside of your own narrow political, social, religious, and/or cultural position. In fact, you should seek out as many different perspectives as possible, keeping an open mind, weighing and evaluating evidence using critical thinking. Though this assignment focuses specifically on reading, exposure to new ideas and seeking out new knowledge in the 21st century is, like composition, often multimodal. Podcasts, Youtube channels, and web resources provide a wide variety of material and perspectives you can use to expand your worldview and build knowledge. Cultivating habits of reading, fostering knowledge and expanding the mind will help ensure you have the desirable skills that employers want from college graduates.

Process and Instructions

For this assignment, you will reflect upon how you can cultivate habits of reading and the mind that will help you to hone your skills in critical thinking, ethical judgement and integrity, intercultural communication, diversity, and a continued desire to learn new things. You will reflect upon what you have read in the most recent past, how it has helped you to learn and develop the skills discussed here, and if/how you can improve your habits of reading and the mind in the future.

Steps for completing this assignment:

  1. Review the key findings of the survey “It Takes More Than a Major (Links to an external site.)” by the AACU (Links to an external site.). (Accessible Version)
  2. Reflect upon your habits of regular reading. Think about where you get information, how you get information, the social, political, and/or cultural context in which you seek out information, and how much time you spend reading outside of school/work on a weekly basis. Think about what you are gaining or losing due to your reading habits.
  3. Compose a discussion post of 200 words in which you describe your reading habits, as well as mention specific things that you have read in the last week. In your post, you should also discuss how your reading habits are or are not helping you attain the general skills desired by employers, as well as how you can continue to hone these skills or change your habits in order to gain them. List a few specific things you can do to ensure that you cultivate a habit of reading widely in order to foster critical thinking, intercultural communication, ethical judgement, integrity, and a continued desire to learn. You may also consider multimodal sources of knowledge-gathering and truth-seeking, such as podcasts or blogs/vlogs, that you seek out (or will in the future) in order to continue learning and expanding your mind outside of school or work.
  4. Once you have posted your discussion, you will see those of your peers. You will then leave a comment on one of your peers’ discussion posts. You must compose your own post in writing, but you may leave audio or video comments for your peer. Remember that your response to a classmate should be meaningful–you should ask a question, follow up on an idea, contribute a new idea or way of thinking, explore a new perspective, connect to your classmate’s idea, answer a question, and so on.

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