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Thread: Can someone please help explain what exactly a critical thought piece is?

  1. #1
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    Can someone please help explain what exactly a critical thought piece is?

    So our Religion professor gave us 3 potential topics to write about for our "critical thought paper". This is the one I chose to go with
    Compare and contrast the role, status and regulations regarding women in two traditions that we studied.

    Now, it says to compare and contrast between two traditions. Sure, that doesn't sound like a problem but that does not bring any 'critical thought' whatsoever. I'm trying to understand how to bring critical thinking into this paper.

    The religions/traditions that we're allowed to choose between are islam, judaism, chrsitinaity, zoroastrianism or voodoo.

    When searching about it online, it says that I should be taking a position and then write my essay based on that, basically a persuasive/argumentative essay. If I was to create a very basic thesis for example I would say "Women in Judaism are valued more than women in Islam". Then from this point I'd create arguments to support this and compare/contrast the differences between the two religions. Is this what I should be doing? Or should I be looking at it more at an analytical standpoint? Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    In a critical essay you expose your ideas or arguments on a certain subject. If the subject is not very familiar, you will have to do some research to be able to discuss it.

    For example your starting hypothesis is:"Women in Judaism are valued more than women in Islam" (I wouldn´t call it a thesis unless you can demonstrate through arguments or examples that it is true).

    First you probably have to do some research on the subject. Jot down your ideas/arguments and then organize them in a certain order. Then you are ready to write your essay. Usually you are expected to end your paper with a conclusion.

    Good luck!
    "You can always find something better than death."
    Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, The Bremen Town Musicians

  3. #3
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    Hey, Jake! You need to make an appointment with your teacher or visit during office hours and ask him or her these questions. You may think this will make you look bad, but in fact it will show your teacher that you care about your work and are being diligent (just watch what that does for your grade). Remember, too, that your teacher knows exactly what he or she is expecting and is by far the best one to advise you. e sure to meet in person.

    That being said, the approach your teacher wants is probably what you are calling an "argumentative essay." One way to write this kind of essay is to develop a hypothesis supported by a series of abstract reasons, with each reason supported by spefic items of evidence (don't confuse abstract reasons for concrete evidence). When you write your essay, start with an introductory paragraph in which the first sentence is your hypothesis, the second sentence is your first reason, the third sentence is your second reason, the fourth sentence is your third, reason, etc. The first sentence of your second paragraph is your first reason, and all subsequent sentences in that paragraph are the specific, concrete items of evidence that support the reason. The first paragraph of your third paragraph is your second reason, and all subsequent sentences in that paragraph are items of evidence supporting that reason. Continue the pattern until you run out of reasons (four or five reasons should produce a nice essay of two or three typed pages). End with a conclusion in which you assert the validity of your hypothesis.

    That's one way to do it. But again, it is imperative that you approach your teacher with your questions and ideas. Don't miss that opportunity and right as a student. Good luck.

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