Critical Investigation

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Use Paul and Elder's (2012) intellectual standards to find a topic or problem that is clear, relevant, significant, and precise. Select an issue that you wish to investigate critically (social, professional, or personal). Examples of topics:

  • How can I secure a job in accounting when I have no experience in the field?
  • What proposals has the city of Denver made to reduce water consumption? How might this impact individual consumers?
  • What financial changes do I need to make to retire at the age of 62?
  • Should wolves be reintroduced to Rio Blanco County?
  • How can I manage my children's cell phone usage?
  • How can the pay gap between men and women best be addressed in my company?
  • What are the most effective ways to address anxiety and depression? How can I use these to better my health?

IMPORTANT: The Final Portfolio is not a traditional "term paper."

Your final portfolio submission should include the following sections:

  1. Title page
  2. Introduction
  3. Engagement with issue or problem using scholarly sources and the intellectual standards proposed by Paul and Elder (2012): What is the issue? Why is it significant? Why is this issue relevant to you (and/or your community)? What have you learned about the depth and breadth of the issue or problem from scholarly sources?
  4. Engagement with your own assumptions or thinking about the issue. What assumptions do you bring to this subject? What concepts are "at work" in your mind as you investigate this issue? Why is this subject of interest to you and how might this skew your investigations? These questions constitute some of the issues covered by Paul and Elder (2012) in their "elements of reason."
  5. Engagement with scholarly sources: How do the scholarly sources aid you as you think about the issue fair-mindedly and with depth? What have you learned from the scholarly sources that have helped you analyze the issue?
  6. Conclusion: Reflect on your issue or problem and how the sources informed your thinking. What have you learned? How can you apply the intellectual standards and elements of reason to this issue or problem to come to creative solutions? What critical questions remain?
  7. References Page

Details:

Consult the Sample APA Paper (Links to an external site.) for a more complete list of requirements. You may wish to review the APA Template Paper (Links to an external site.) for help formatting your essay according to the requirements. If you need assistance with your writing style or you need writing tips or tutorials, visit the CSU Global Writing Center (Links to an external site.). Review the grading rubric to see how you will be graded for this assignment.


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