Analyze eight elements of thought and reasoning and re-organize them into four distinct categories by pairing elements together.

Eight Elements of Thought and Reasoning


For your assignment this week, first begin by analyzing eight elements of thought and reasoning and re-organize them into four distinct categories by pairing elements together. Next, briefly describe each new category you created and present your reasoning for each category. Include the characteristics of the original eight elements in your descriptions and the reasoning behind your pairings Category:


Point of view is …

Assumptions are…




Below is an example of what one category may look like. You are free to pair any elements together if you can define their relationship to one another. Focus on the reasoning behind each pairing. That is what is most important in this exercise!


Example Category:


Category 1: How do I see it?


Point of View: The place from where I see things


Assumption: Information that is taken for granted; Preconceived notions


Explanation: I paired point of view and assumptions together in the same category because assumptions form your point of view. You cannot form a point of view without having assumptions first.


Example: My assumption is that short people are not good at basketball. My younger cousin is 5’ 3’’ and is terrible at the sport. Therefore, my point of view is that no short people can play basketball professionally.


Your completed assignment should be written primarily in first person and should be 500-750 words in length. If you use sources in your writing, be sure to identify them. If you use any direct language from a source, be sure to place those words in quotation marks.


1.       All reasoning has a PURPOSE:

o    Take time to state your purpose clearly

o    Distinguish your purpose from related purposes

o    Check periodically to be sure you are still on target

o    Choose significant and realistic purposes


o    Take time to clearly and precisely state the question at issue

o    Express the question in several ways to clarify its meaning and scope

o    Break the question into sub questions

o    Identify if the question has one right answer, is a matter of opinion, or requires reasoning from more than one point of view

3.       All reasoning is based on ASSUMPTIONS:

o    Clearly identify your assumptions and determine whether they are justifiable

o    Consider how your assumptions are shaping your point of view

4.       All reasoning is done from some POINT OF VIEW:

o    Identify your point of view

o    Seek other points of view and identify their strengths as well as weaknesses

o    Strive to be fair-minded in evaluating all points of view

5.       All reasoning is based on DATA, INFORMATION and EVIDENCE:

o    Restrict your claims to those supported by the data you have

o    Search for information that opposes your position as well as information that supports it

o    Make sure that all information used is clear, accurate, and relevant to the question at issue

o    Make sure you have gathered sufficient information

6.       All reasoning is expressed through, and shaped by, CONCEPTS and IDEAS:

o    Identify key concepts and explain them clearly

o    Consider alternative concepts or alternative definitions to concepts

o    Make sure you are using concepts with care and precision

7.       All reasoning contains INFERENCES or INTERPRETATIONS by which we draw CONCLUSIONS and give meaning to data:

o    Infer only what the evidence implies

o    Check inferences for their consistency with each other

o    Identify assumptions which lead you to your inferences

8.       All reasoning leads somewhere or has IMPLICATIONS and CONSEQUENCES:

o    Trace the implications and consequences that follow from your reasoning

o    Search for negative as well as positive implications

o    Consider all possible consequences

(Paul, R. and Elder, L. (April 1997). Foundation For Critical Thinking,

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