Assignment: Critical Thinking

Activity 1

Fact vs. Opinion

Identify each of the following statements as either fact or opinion:

  1. There are currently 110,000 children in the child welfare system.
  2. Approximately 4.7 million Americans can’t vote currently or permanently due to a felony conviction.  That translates to 1 in 42 adults.
  3. For schools to be more effective, the school year must be longer.
  4. Patriarchy exists when men dominate women in group or society and authority is vested in males.
  5. The United States needs to spend more money on health care.
  6. As of the year 2015, only 26% of fourth-grade students in the United States tests proficient in basic mathematics problems.
  7. Sociology is the scientific study of society and human behavior.
  8. Do unto others as you would like them to do unto you.
  9. College students should take at least 15 credits per semester.
  10. A prominent theory among psychologists is that humans are by nature instinctively egocentric.

Activity 2

Point of View Exercise

  1. List at least eight components that make up your unique point of view (e.g., your gender, race, education level, etc.) Be specific.
  2. State your answer to the following questions.  Then explain which components of your point of view most influence each answer and why.  Look at the example below for clarification.

Example question:  Should abortion be legal in the United States?

Example answer 1:  Abortion should be legal in the United States.  As a liberal woman, I think it is imperative for abortion to remain legal.  If women are denied the right to make decisions about their own bodies, it may be the first step in eroding other long-fought rights for women.

Example answer 2:  Abortion should no longer be legal in the United States. As a Christian woman, I believe that life begins at conception and abortion is therefore murder.

a. Should minors need parental permission to obtain birth control?

b. Should the drinking age be lowered from 21?

c. Should climate change be considered a national security threat?

Activity 3

Assumption Exercise

Find the possible underlying assumption(s) on EACH side of the following issues.

Use the following format to complete each side for all of the issues listed below:
Answer = Yes
Assumption =
Answer =
NoAssumption =

  1. Should race be considered as a factor in college admission?
  2. Should English be the one and only national language in the United States?
  3. Should Muslim women have to remove their burkas for drivers’ license pictures?