How often do you try to resist biases?

When looking for information about a particular issue, how often do you try to resist biases toward your own point of view? This assignment asks you to engage in this aspect of critical thinking by playing the “Believing Game.” The Believing Game is about making the effort to “believe” – or at least consider – the reasons for an opposing view on an issue.

The assignment is divided into two (2) parts. In Part I of the assignment (due Week 2), you will first read a book excerpt about critical thinking processes: “The Believing Game and How to Make Conflicting Opinions More Fruitful” at http://www.procon.org/sourcefiles/believinggame.pdf. Next, you will review the Procon.org Website in order to gather information. Then, you will engage in prewriting to examine your thoughts.

Note: In Part II of the assignment (due Week 4), you will write an essay geared towards synthesizing your ideas. 

Part I – Prewriting: Follow the instructions below for this prewriting activity. Use complete sentences and adhere to standard rules of English grammar, punctuation, mechanics, and spelling.

1. Select one (1) of the approved topics from the www.procon.org Website and state your position on the issue.

2. From the Procon.org Website, identify three (3) premises (reasons) listed under either the Pro or Con section – whichever section opposes your position.

3. For each of the three (3) premises (reasons) that oppose your position on the issue, answer these “believing” questions suggested by Elbow:

a. What’s interesting or helpful about this view?

b. What would I notice if I believed this view?

c. In what sense or under what conditions might this idea be true?”

The paper should follow guidelines for clear and organized writing:

  • Include an introductory paragraph and concluding paragraph.
  • Address main ideas in body paragraphs with a topic sentence and supporting sentences.
  • Adhere to standard rules of English grammar, punctuation, mechanics, and spelling.

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