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Baloney Detection Part 1 and Part 2 - by Michael Shermer, in Scientific American
A good, brief 10-step guide to critical thinking about any claim - especially unusual, surprising, controversial or momentous claims.
A Field Guide to Critical Thinking by James Lett, in Skeptical Inquirer
"I give [my students] six simple rules to follow when considering any claim, and then show them how to apply those six rules to the examination of any paranormal claim. The six rules of evidential reasoning are my own distillation and simplification of the scientific method. To make it easier for students to remember these half-dozen guidelines, I've coined an acronym for them: Ignoring the vowels, the letters in the word "FiLCHeRS" stand for the rules of Falsifiability, Logic, Comprehensiveness, Honesty, Replicability, and Sufficiency. Apply these six rules to the evidence offered for any claim, I tell my students, and no one will ever be able to sneak up on you and steal your belief. You'll be filch-proof."
An Introduction to Science, Scientific Thinking and the Scientific Method
Essay providing an overview of the scientific method and its connection with critical thinking. Intended for science undergraduates, but may be useful in other contexts. [1 Aug 02]
The Scientific Method Today by Norman W. Edmund.
"These pages contain today’s most up-to-date, clear, concise and reliable information about the scientific method that has ever been offered." Find out about the "SM-14 Formula for the General Pattern of the Scientific Method." Pitched somewhere between philosophy of science and a 12-step self-help program. Definitely worth a look. Booklets available.
Centroid Café Bunk Debunker
"the Centroid Café proposes the FAIR Assessment Engine, a stratagem for debunking any bunk that you might encounter. You will find that using this "engine"—together with the development of a habit of quiet reflection—will very effectively assist you in separating sense from nonsense and in guiding your thinking and decisions toward more prudential actions." [15 Aug 02]
A Mini Guide to Critical Thinking by Joe Lau (pdf file)
A bit more than "mini". 26 page document surveys major topics. Clear and simple. Would be useful as a reference, for brushing up on key concepts. [25 Sep 03]
Practical Thinking by Jon Falleson, US Army (large pdf file)
Overview and content of a 6 lesson, 12 hour course in critical thinking. Although developed for use by Army battle commanders, the material is sufficiently generic that this could be used for anyone wanting to understand how thinking might be improved in complex, uncertain, noisy and high-pressure situations. [1 Oct 03]
JFK - Introduction to Critical Thinking by Ken Rahn
Who killed JFK? Or perhaps more interestingly, why are there still so many conspiracy theorists? Ken Rahn thinks it comes down to failures of critical thinking. This website assembles a number of useful resources on critical thinking, set in the context of the JFK assassination. If you're more interested in JFK than critical thinking, see Rahn's JFK parent site. [18 Nov 03]
How to Argue by
Not really a "how to" - more a set of reflections on the activity of arguing.
[18 Dec 03]
Traps of traditional logic & dialectics: What they are and how to avoid them
by Robert Horn
"We all try to avoid the common fallacies of deductive reasoning that teachers
of thinking have helped us to identify. But recent research into the foundations
of thinking suggests that some non-deductive fallacies may be more common, more
insidious, and easier to fall into. And they result from built-in limitations to
everyday thinking patterns about the phenomena change and stability." [22 Jan
LSAT Argument Section
Compact summary of some basic informal (and a little formal) logic.
Intended for people preparing for the LSAT (US Law School Admission Test), so
look past the information about the test, which will be useless for most people.
[16 Mar 05]
The Path to Critical Thinking
From the Harvard Business School newsletter, a "refresher" on critical thinking.
Written for people who think 5 minutes is about all they can spend learning
about critical thinking. Contains some useful tidbits. [1 Jun 05]
Writing Argumentative Essays
Essays and Arguments: A Handbook on Writing Argumentative and Interpretative Essays by Ian Johnston Malaspina University College
High-quality guide to writing argumentative essays
Writing Argumentative Essays.
"Welcome to Writing Argumentative Essays, a unit of curriculum which aims to teach students how to write short argumentative essays of approximately 1000 words."
Paradigm Online Writing Assistant
A good overall writing guide, with a useful section on writing argumentative essays
Identifying the Argument of an Essay. Metropolitan Community College, Omaha, Nebraska
Thesis Builder &
Cute - and may well be very useful for e.g. secondary students. Rapidly
assemble an outline for an argumentative essay. Doesn't tell you how to do
it; it helps you construct it. [28 May 05]
Teach Yourself To Think. By Benjamin Franklin.
"I escaped being a poet, most probably a very bad one; but as prose writing had been of great use to me in the course of my life, and was a principal means of my advancement, I shall tell you how, in such a situation, I acquired what little ability I have in that way."
The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking Concepts and Tools by Richard Paul and Linda Elder
Not really an "on the web" resource - the page is an advertisement but you might want to check it out.
20 Jun 2007