Week 4: Scientific Thinking and the Argument

Week 4: Scientific Thinking and the Argument

Everyday facts, figures, and percentages can be heard in advertising and in the news. How can you know if such quotes are true? Recall such statements with which you are familiar, such as that smoking increases your risk of cancer, a certain cell phone company has the fewest dropped calls, etc. How can you judge the accuracy of these types of statements?

This week, the nature and purpose of scientific thinking is discussed. In order to improve your critical-thinking skills, it is important to have an understanding of the basics of scientific thought so that you can make judgments about the information that you hear and read on a daily basis. This week, you will learn about the main methods used in scientific thinking.

Students will:
  • Distinguish the importance of the scientific method within research and critical thinking

Learning Resources

Required Readings

Course Text: Kirby, G., & Goodpaster, J. (2007).
Thinking (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.

  • Chapter 10, “Scientific Thinking “
  • In this chapter, scientific thinking and the steps involved in the scientific method of reasoning are discussed. The empirical nature of science and its limitations are also examined. The chapter also explores the process and importance of proving a theory using scientific thinking.

    Focus on the definitions provided throughout the chapter. Review and think about the examples and anecdotes provided in the chapters that illustrate the major ideas being conveyed. Consider the importance of critical thinking in the scientific method. Ask yourself when a manager may use the scientific method, and think about the benefits of this type of thinking.

  • Chapter 11, “Persuasive Thinking”
  • Chapter 11 discusses the art of persuasion, the persuasive structure, and methods of persuading people. In addition, the psychology of different persuasion techniques is presented.

    Focus on the definitions provided throughout the chapter. Review and think about the different factors that play a role in persuasion and how different methods are implemented. Consider how arguments can be used to persuade. Then, think about how you use persuasion both personally and professionally.

Course Text: Weston, A. (2009).
A rulebook for arguments (4th ed.). Indianapolis, IN: Hackett Publishing Company.

  • Chapter 7, “Extended Arguments”
  • Chapter 8, “Argumentative Essays”
  • Appendix II, “Definitions”
  • These chapters will assist you as you develop your argumentative essay. Chapters 7 and 8 outline the stages of developing this type of essay and Appendix II highlights when it is advisable to define terms that are not specific.

    Focus on the definitions provided throughout the chapter. Review and think about the strategies presented for writing an argumentative essay. Consider how you can incorporate these strategies as you work on your porfolio project. Then, think about when you may use this writing style as a manager.

Optional Resources

Course Text: Weston, A. (2009).
A rulebook for arguments (4th ed.). Indianapolis, IN: Hackett Publishing Company.

  • Chapter 9, “Oral Arguments”

Assignment 1: Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methodologies

The two basic types of scientific research approaches are quantitative and qualitative. As a learner you have been and will continue to be exposed to both types. In order to better differentiate between the two methodologies, it is important to understand the characteristics of each and how they differ from one another.

Based on your reading for this week:

Using the Walden Library database or the Internet, locate an example of either a qualitative or a quantitative research study in a peer-reviewed journal. Pick a subject in which you are interested. Report to the class:

  • The name and citation of the article (APA format)
  • The type of research approach used in the study (quantitative or qualitative)
  • A brief description of the research
  • A summary of the findings
  • The limitations of the research

Discussion: Portfolio Project Draft

The readings this week outlined how to write an argumentative essay. Many of the same steps used in writing an argumentative paragraph are used when composing an essay. Reflect on the readings as you continue to develop your essay.

Based on your reading for this week:

  • Using this Discussion as a “sounding board,” share a draft of your argument essay with your classmates.

Post a brief statement that summarizes the topic of your argument, the type of argument that you are using in your essay, and the sources that you are using to support your claims.

Be sure to support your work with specific citations from the Learning Resources and any additional sources

Assignment 2: Reflection

Post your Reflection assignment which summarizes what you learned from the readings, research, and Discussion activities. Detailed instructions and a template are provided in the Reflection Instructions and Template document located in the Doc Sharing area. Use references with APA formatting as needed. You may also want to review the Reflection Grading Rubric located on the Course Information page before posting your assignment.

While you are not required to read and respond to your classmates’ postings, you are encouraged to do so.

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