Critical Thinking Essay
Journals 1-2 Prompt
This is a personal journal where students record, track, and process personal observations
and reflections about critical thinking in their daily life. The students should be focusing
on their own, internal infractions of critical thinking principles and those of others, such
as family and friends in interpersonal interactions. Focus on infractions that are unique to
your own, personal life, your inner reflection about your life and actions, your thoughts,
your interactions with others, things your family or friends do. The point is to take note of
situations in which critical thinking is not present and the effects of this are apparent. The
purpose of this journal is for students to be more self-aware of the regularity of critical
thinking problems in their lived, daily life so that those problems are less pernicious.
1. In at least one paragraph, describe the critical thinking infraction as it occurred.
Think of the following points in your description:
a. What, exactly, happened? Tell the story, paying attention to the
who-what-when-where-how details. This context matters for critical
thinking infractions, both in provoking them and understanding them.
b. What, specifically, was the infraction? Thinking of critical thinking as
principles of good reasoning, which principles were absent or violated?
2. In at least one paragraph, interpret the situation and the infraction. Think of the
following points in your interpretation:
a. Why did the infraction occur in this situation? Attempt to form an
explanation of the situation such that it produced this infraction as a result.
b. Of all of the possible ways for the situation to proceed, why did it proceed
this way–where a critical thinking rule was broken or absent–rather than
the other ways? What was the cause, in other words?
c. In your interpretation, how severe or consequential was the infraction?
Aside from leading to irrationality and false beliefs, what else could occur
as a result if anything? Critical Thinking Essay
3. In at least one paragraph, consider how to resolve the critical thinking infraction
as best as you can. Consider the following points in this resolution:
a. If the situation were repeated, what measures would have to be taken in
order to prevent the infraction from occuring?
b. Given that the infraction actually occurred, what do you do about it now,
after the fact?
c. What factors do you foresee getting in the way of, or at least making
difficult, the prevention or resolution of this infraction?
Barriers to Critical Thinking Worksheet
1. The likelihood of two star-systems, the moon, and the sun aligning on Sept. 23rd in
accordance with Biblical numerology is so improbable that it must herald some kind of
major cosmic event, perhaps the planet Nibiru colliding with our planet or the Rapture.
2. We are not morally obligated to assist Rohingya Muslims as they flee Myanmar to
Bangladesh because there are many other people on the planet who can do something
about it, like the people in Bangladesh who are closer.
3. I’m not going to the birthday party later because my family’s political views are just too
much to handle. If I have to go, I’m simply not going to talk to the people with views too
far from my own.
4. I have been researching the Mandela Effect constantly for almost five years now, but it’s
very difficult to find any more data on than what already exists. So far, there is evidence
of the phenomenon, but not enough to understand it properly. I have to keep researching
and working to find the truth.
5. As a student, I can tell you that college is too expensive, and it should just be free.
6. It’s not my fault I failed the class. I have done well in all of my classes except the ones
with bad professors. It’s their fault. I am an above average student, so how can I have a
1.9 GPA? Bad professors. Critical Thinking Essay
7. I believe it is right not to eat meat because I am a member of PETA.
8. Liberals are college educated people who read too much Marx and are now Communists.
9. Human nature is either completely self-interested or altruistic. It’s obviously true that all
people are always self-interested, then. Just look around you. My philosophy professor
said all people are naturally self-interested too.
10. I’m meeting my friends at the bar tonight instead of studying because, if I don’t, they’ll
think I’m the kind of person who takes books more seriously than having fun with
11. Even if climate change is human induced, it shouldn’t matter to humans. The fact is that a
warmer climate will open previously inaccessible, unworkable frozen regions for
12. My friend is having a really hard time. I just repeated by saying that helps me out, “Live,
laugh, love.” I thought she needed to hear that kind of positivity to help her find some
guidance. Critical Thinking Essay
13. I don’t really know anything about politics, so I don’t really get involved in the things
that people get worked up about. I’m just not into politics and it doesn’t have an effect on
me. I’m happier and healthier that way. When people try to talk to me about it, I just say,
“I have no relationship with the political.” Don’t know; don’t care. Critical Thinking Essay.