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  • 1. Reasoningskillssuccess in 20 minutes a Day

2. Other titles Of interest frOm l e ar ni ng e xp r e s sBiology Success in 20 Minutes a DayChemistry Success in 20 Minutes a Day Earth Science Success in 20 Minutes a DayGrammar Success in 20 Minutes a Day, 2nd EditionPhysics Success in 20 Minutes a DayPractical Math Success in 20 Minutes a Day, 4th Edition Statistics Success in 20 Minutes a DayTrigonometry Success in 20 MinutesVocabulary and Spelling Success in 20 Minutes a Day, 5th Edition Writing Skills Success in 20 Minutes a Day, 4th Edition 3. Reasoningskillssuccessin 20 minutesa Day3rd Edition new yo R k 4. Copyright 2010 LearningExpress, LLC.All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions.Published in the United States by LearningExpress, LLC, New York.Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication DataReasoning skills success in 20 minutes a day.3rd ed.p. cm. ISBN 978-1-57685-726-71. Reasoning (Psychology) I. LearningExpress (Oranization) II Title: Reasoning skills success in twenty minutesa day.BF442.R44 2010153.43dc22 2009030907Printed in the United States of America9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1First EditionISBN-13 978-1-57685-720-5For more information or to place an order, contact LearningExpress at: 2 Rector Street 26th Floor New York, NY 10006Or visit us at: www.learnatest.com 5. contentscontRibutoRsixHow to use tHis bookxiPRetest1lesson 1 cRitical tHinking anD Reasoning skills 15 What Are Critical Thinking and Reasoning Skills? Definition: The Difference between Reason and Emotion Justifying Your Decision Why Critical Thinking and Reasoning Skills Are Important In Shortlesson 2 PRoblem-solving stRategies 21 Definition: What Is a Problem? Identifying the Problem Breaking the Problem into Its Parts Prioritizing Issues Relevance of Issues In Shortlesson 3 tHinking vs. knowing 27 Definition: Fact vs. Opinion Why the Difference between Fact and Opinion Is Important Tentative Truths Fact vs. Opinion in Critical Reasoning In Shortv 6. contentslesson 4wHo makes tHe claim? 33Definition: What is Credibility?How to Determine CredibilityRecognizing BiasSpecial Case: Eyeswitness CredibilityIn Shortlesson 5PaRtial claims anD Half-tRutHs 41The Trouble with Incomplete ClaimsTest and StudiesAveragesIn Shortlesson 6wHats in a woRD?47Euphemisms and DysphemismsBiased QuestionsIn Shortlesson 7woRking witH aRguments 53Inductive ReasoningDeductive ReasoningIndentifying the Overall ConclusionIn Shortlesson 8evaluating eviDence61Types of EvidenceIs the Evidence Credible?Is the Evidence Reasonable?In Shortlesson 9Recognizing a gooD aRgument67Clear and CompleteFree of Excessive Subtle PersuasionCredible and Reasonable PremisesSufficient and Substantive PremisesConsidering the Other SideIn Shortlesson 10 Putting it all togetHeR73Lesson 1: Critical Thinking and Reasoning SkillsLesson 2: Problem-Solving StrategiesLesson 3: Thinking vs. KnowingLesson 4: Who Makes the Claim?Lesson 5: Partial Claims and Half-Truthsvi 7. contentsLesson 6: Whats in a Word?Lesson 7: Working with ArgumentsLesson 8: Evaluating EvidenceLesson 9: Recognizing a Good Argumentlesson 11 logical fallacies: aPPeals to emotion77Scare TacticsFlatteryPeer PressurePityIn Shortlesson 12 logical fallacies: tHe imPostoRs 83No In-BetweensSlippery SlopeCircular ReasoningTwo Wrongs Make a RightIn Shortlesson 13 logical fallacies: DistRacteRs anD DistoRteRs89Ad HominemRed HerringStraw ManIn Shortlesson 14 wHy DiD it HaPPen? 97RelevanceTestabilityCircularityCompatibility with Existing KnowledgeIn Shortlesson 15 inDuctive Reasoning: PaRt i 105The Science of Inductive ReasoningElementary, My Dear WatsonIn Shortlesson 16 JumPing to conclusions107Hasty GeneralizationsBiased GeneralizationsNon SequiturIn Shortvii 8. contentslesson 17 inDuctive Reasoning: PaRt ii 113Determining CausePost Hoc, Ergo Propter HocThe Chicken or the Egg?In Shortlesson 18 numbeRs neveR lie121First Things First: Consider the SourceThe Importance of Sample SizeRepresentative, Random, and Biased SamplesComparing Apples and OrangesIn Shortlesson 19 PRoblem solving RevisiteD129Common SenseEvaluating EvidenceDrawing Conclusions from EvidenceIn Shortlesson 20 Putting it all togetHeR135Lesson 11: Logical Fallacies: Appeals to EmotionLesson 12: Logical Fallacies: The ImpostersLesson 13: Logical Fallacies: Distracters and DistortersLesson 14: Why Did It Happen?Lesson 15: Inductive Reasoning, Part ILesson 16: Jumping to ConclusionsLesson 17: Inductive Reasoning, Part IILesson 18: Numbers Never LieLesson 19: Problem Solving RevisitedCongratulations!Posttest 141aPPenDixHow to PRePaRe foR a test153Two to Three Months before the TestThe Days before the TestTest DayCombating Test AnxietyTime StrategiesAvoiding ErrorsAfter the Testviii 9. contributorsElizabeth Chesla is the author of TOEFL Exam Success, ACT Exam Success, GED Success, Reading ComprehensionSuccess, Write Better Essays, and many other writing and reading guides and test preparation books. She lives inSouth Orange, New Jersey.Tamra Orr is a full-time educational writer living in the Pacific Northwest. She has written several test prepara-tion books and works for a dozen of the nations largest testing companies. She is the author of more than 70books, mother of four, and wife of one. ix 10. How to use this bookt his book is designed to help you improve your critical thinking and reasoning skills in 20 short lessonsthat should take 20 minutes a day to complete. If you read one chapter a day, Monday through Friday,and do all the exercises carefully, you should see dramatic improvement in your ability to think criti-cally and to solve problems logically and effectively by the end of your month of study.Although each lesson is designed to be a skill builder on its own, it is important that you proceed throughthis book in order, from Lesson 1 through Lesson 20. Like most other skills, critical thinking and reasoningdevelop in layers. Each lesson in this book builds upon the ideas discussed in those lessons before it.Each lesson provides several exercises that give you the opportunity to practice the skills you learn through-out the book. To help you be sure youre on the right track, youll also find answers and explanations for theseexercise sets. Each lesson also provides practical suggestions for how to continue practicing the taught skillsthroughout the rest of the day and weekand the rest of your life. In addition, two special review lessons go overthe key skills and concepts in each half of the book and provide you with practice applying them in practical,real-life situations.To help you gauge your progress, this book contains a pretest and a posttest. You should take the pretestbefore you start Lesson 1. Then, after youve finished Lesson 20, take the posttest. The tests contain different ques-tions but assess the same skills, so you will be able to see how much your critical thinking and reasoning skillshave improved after completing the lessons in this book.be an active listener and observerTo make the most of this text, its important to remember that critical thinking and reasoning skills are necessaryfor just about every aspect of lifewhether personal, professional, or academic. Thats why its so important tobecome an active listener and observer. xi 11. H ow to use tHis book People often come to conclusions based on what your decision or solution will be. To that end, listen tothey think or feel rather than on the evidence before all sides of an argument, and examine a situation fromthem. They make decisions based on what they want various points of view. If you do, your decisions willto hear rather than what is really being said; they takebe much more sound and youll be able to solve prob-action based on what they imagine to be true rather lems more effectively.than what is actually the case. But by really listening towhat people say and how they say it (facial expressions Separate Feelings from Factsand tone often say much more than words them- This book will address, in more detail, the differenceselves), you help ensure that you will be reacting to between fact and opinion later on, but the distinctionwhats really being said, not just to what you want tois so important that its worth mentioning now. Whathear. most often clouds peoples ability to reason effectively Similarly, by paying careful attention to and think- is their emotions. Indeed, this is a natural tendency,ing critically about every situation, youll help ensurebut if you give feelings precedence over reason, youthat the decisions you make and the conclusions you often end up making poor decisions. This is not to saycome to will be justified. For example, if a place looksthat you shouldnt consider your feelingsof courseunsavory to you, analyze what it is about that place that you shouldbut just be sure theyre not overridingmakes you uncomfortable. Feelings generally comethe facts.from things we are able to sense, even subconsciously,in our environment. The more you can point to as jus- Think before You Acttification for your thoughts, feelings, and actions, thePeople are often under pressure to make quick deci-more logical your decisions and actions will be.sions. But with the exception of emergency situations, Much of this book will be devoted to helping you its usually best to take time to reason things through.build your observation skills. Meanwhile, here are aHasty decisions are less productive in the long runfew pointers to help you not only as you work through because theyre usually not the most logical orthis book, but in everything you do.informed decisions. If you take a little time to considerall sides and separate feelings from facts, youre muchKeep an Open Mind more likely to make a wise decision or find an effectiveIt is very rarely the case that there is only one possiblesolution.answer to a problem or only one right way to think Of course, sometimes making a quick decision isor act. Even in math, whe