Project #159804 - question 1

General Tutors

Subject General
Due By (Pacific Time) 12/11/2016 12:00 am

4 short questions to answer, no format or cite needed. at least 100 words for each questions.



Learning to be a critical thinker is an important part of being a student as well as a lifelong learner. There are many elements involved with being a critical reader and they may shift slightly depending on whether the material you are analyzing is a print or online source. Still, one of the first parts of critical reading is to ask questions. Readers should be asking questions about the validity of a claim or the author’s bias. In addition, reading critically means separating emotional arguments from logical ones as you are reviewing the author or publications credentials. The part I found most interesting, however, was Plencher’s (2014) assertion that readers are just as responsible for knowing their own biases. If a reader is only searching for answers to confirm their own opinions, they are quelling their own natural curiosity and instead may be closed off to new paths of understanding. 


An example of an article where good critical thinking skills is demonstrated can be found in the BBC article titled, “What’s behind the anti-vax’ movement?” The author presents a logical and well thought out analysis of the anti-vaxing movement without judgement or bias. Major milestones and statistics are presented in the article as well as the viewpoints of four people for why the anti-vaxing movement has gained traction. 


Finally, an article on the same topic that does not demonstrate critical thinking skills is Larry Cook’s (2015) article “Discover the many dangers of vaccines and vaccination.” This article is clearly biased. Cook only presents one side of the argument. He does not use statistics or published studies, but instead uses loaded language and fear mongering tactics to support his opinion.




·         “Willingness to ask the right questions and skills in identifying good sources is a necessary prerequisite to finding valuable results.

·         Critically thinking persons are aware of their own biases and are able to set their emotional needs aside, to look at the facts without prejudice, and with generally neutral attitude.

·         We can say that the difference between a critically aware person and uncritical one lies in the readiness to challenge their own position.

·         According to Dunning and Kruger, people unskilled in certain domains suffer a burden:

1)      they reach erroneous conclusions and make unfortunate choices; 2) their incompetence robs them of the metacognitive ability to realize it.

·         It is ability to evaluate arguments regardless of who conveyed them. Critical thinking is

not an inborn gift, rather it is a skill that can be learned and improved. It is only indirectly related to knowledge or wisdom.” (Plencer. 2012).

The clip of this video shows an example of both Trump’s lack of critical thinking skills and Hillary’s ACTUAL critical thinking skills. 

PLENCNER, A.: (2012). Hot topics in the critique of mass and popular culture. In MORAVÄŒÍKOVÁ, E. (ed.): Culture in changes of globalization. Nitra: Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra, p. 298-299.

Video clip retrieved from u-tube



The global societal issue which I chose for my final argumentative essay is ocean desertification. 

                Ocean desertification is a term describing an area where no ocean creatures can live due to poor natural habitats, water quality and land, caused by things like deep sea trawling, which dramatically alters the ocean floor, causing drylands. The only way we are going to stop ocean desertification involves major policy changes on both a local and global level, putting limits on deep sea trawling, finding alternative local industries for fishing, such as aquaculture for production of fish, and even finding alternative livelihoods for local fisherman that doesn’t involve harming the ecosystem to make a living. 

Ocean desertification causes fisherman to travel further out and trawl deeper ocean for the fish they must catch to make a living. Desertification causes drylands. People who live in dryland areas tend to live at poverty levels. 

A surprising fact that I found on the United Nations website is, “Some 50 million people may be displaced within the next 10 years as a result of desertification.”(n.a. n.d).


The global issue I am writing about is airport security. Currently part of the airport security process involves going through full-body scanners. There are privacy and health concerns regarding these scanners and whether or not these concerns outweigh the need for such security measures will be argued. Further research on this topic is important because many of us will fly at one point or another in our lives and have to deal with the security measures that are present at airports. Many people have strong opinions on these measures and truly feel that their rights are being violated. Researching about our rights and the security being used, the pros and cons, and seeing if there are any alternatives out there is important so that people are more informed if and when they come across these machines at airports. This issue impacts anyone traveling by airplanes as well as the TSA agents at the airport.   

My thesis is as follows: full-body scanners have not been proven harmful to passenger health, there are precautions taken to protect passenger privacy as much as possible, and they help prevent potential life-threatening security threats which outweighs the health and privacy concerns associated with them.

One article I found stated that “forty-six percent of United States citizens are against full-body scanners because of the risk of cancer” that they carry (Taylor, 2013, p.515). It also stated that out of “750 million security checks of 100 million airline passengers per year, six cancers could result from the X-ray scans” (Taylor, 2013, p.515). I was surprised that almost half of U.S. citizens were against these scanners, I guess I never really thought of the risk of cancer from these scanners. The risk is small but I guess for me, I’d worry more about the risk of a terrorist attack while flying. 


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