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Presumptions Vs Assumptions And Critical Thinking

Consider the following situations, then respond to these questions:

  1. Do you agree or disagree with the inference/conclusion? Why or why not?
  2. What assumption(s) may have led to the inference/conclusion?
  3. What are some alternative ways of thinking about this situation?

Situation #1

Bill needs six scholarly articles for his paper on the psychological effects of domestic violence. He searches Google for "psychological effects of domestic violence," looks through the first few hits, and finds six sources, including some articles on the websites of legitimate organizations. A few of these articles include bibliographies.

  • Bill's Inference/Conclusion: I'm going to stop researching because I have my six sources.

Situation #2

Christie is researching representations of gender in popular music. She decides to search Google and, within a few minutes, locates more sources that she could possibly incorporate into her final paper.

  • Christie's Inference/Conclusion: I can just use Google for my research.

Situation #3

Jennifer has decided to write her literary analysis paper on drug use in David Foster Wallace's novel, Infinite Jest (1996). She tries a few Google searches for Infinite Jest, drugs, and drug use, but she has trouble finding scholarly sources. She gives up on Google and moves on to EBSCO Academic Search Premier, one of the databases she heard about in a library instruction class. She runs a search for Infinite Jest and drug use, but she still can't find much.

  • Jennifer's Inference/Conclusion: I need to change my topic.
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