Sections 010 and 005, M-W: Due Thursday, April 6

Section 018, T-R: Due Thursday, March 9

Must bring hard copy to class and submit the essay to Remember: I will grade only papers that are submitted to Turnitin.

This paper requires you to demonstrate your ability to use all three tools of critical intelligence (listening/reading, thinking, writing) when focusing on the pitch(es) you hear made in one of the approved global cultural events on the course calendarYou will be conducting a standards check on a cultural event you attend and evaluating the effectiveness of the presentation you hear. This paper is due no later than the start of class on the date stated above (5-6 full pages, double-spaced, 12 pt. Times New Roman, 11 pt. Calibri, or 10 pt. Arial font exclusive of Works Cited). Make sure you use either 2016 MLA or 2009 APA format for the layout of a paper, including headers or running heads and page numbers.


  1. Choose a cultural event from the list of approved cultural events for this assignment. You must select from the approved CE's on the course webpage. Waiting until the last moment is highly discouraged and could impact your ability to write a paper that earns the grade you desire; sometimes students need to go to more than one event to find one that they feel confident in writing about. And sometimes events are postponed or cancelled--so stay on top of it. You must choose a cultural event from the list of approved events; not just any random cultural event will work for this assignment. 
  2. When you attend this cultural event, you need to take thorough notes on what you hear discussed, ask the speaker questions, and make sure you can communicate the points made by the speaker(s) and the concepts, assumptions, and information those points are based on. You will probably have to think about the speaker's disciplinary perspectives in order to summarize his/her points confidently. Try to identify as many of Nosich's elements as you can in the speaker's presentation. Make sure you can articulate the speaker's thesis, his/her context, and the question at issue and purpose. Do you think the speaker's discipline has affected the pitch made? 
  3. Next, you will assess how well the presentation meets the standards of critical thinking in Nosich, Chapter 4. Perform a standards check on what you heard and saw at the cultural event. You also must demonstrate your critical reading skills through library research on the question at issue in the speaker’s presentation (You must use the library databases, only. Open Internet sources like Wikipedia, Yahoo! and Google are unacceptable). Your objective is to enrich your understanding of the context of the Q at I so that you can evaluate the speaker(s)’s presentation against the CT standards more effectively. You will need to show that you can find reliable, credible outside information to help you corroborate or contradict what you have heard. Be sure to explore alternatives to the speaker(s)’s position(s) so that you can consider the possibilities of barriers, alternate concepts and assumptions, faulty logic, etc. Think of this as "reading against the grain" of the speaker's presentation. You must use a minimum of three outside sources to enrich the discussion.  (Don't just go to the speaker's website--look for other sources of information!) This paper requires correct use of 2009 MLA or APA documentation. 
  4. Then, in a well-argued 5-6 page thesis-driven, deductive essay that demonstrates your critical writing skills, you will evaluate the presentation you have heard, using the seven standards for critical thinking in Nosich, Chapter 4. Make sure that you have carefully thought through the ten questions laid out on pp. 155-56 of Nosich. You will not need to write about all of these questions in your paper, but thinking around the circle will help you keep a strong analytic focus throughout your paper. Although you will need to describe what you heard, no more than one-third of the essay should be devoted to summarizing the event. Remember that you are making an argument, not writing an informative report on "what I heard at the cultural event."

·         Make sure that the essay you write incorporates points a, b, c, and d on p. 156. (Remember that you will have to reorganize the answers you generate to these questions into an essay with a logical flow and sequence.)

·         Make sure that the focus of your essay is on your analysis and evaluation supporting the standards checknot on a summary of the event.

·         Use the past tense to discuss the event: "Jones discussed the loyalists’ side of the Libyan uprising" or "The speakers explained the difference".

·         Use the present tense to incorporate your sources. "Staff writer Jo Johnson of The Wall Street Journal analyzes Jones’ ideas and concludes that his reported numbers are accurate."

·         Use CT terminology from Nosich to analyze the elements and support your assessment of how well the speaker(s) met the standards check; the words clear, accurate, depth, breadth, etc. should show up in your text.

·         Bring your context research to bear in making your own pitch and be sure to document the outside research correctly following the 2009 MLA or APA format.

·         Consider your audience to be a group of people who have already taken and passed CRTW201 and are familiar with CT terminology.

I'll be happy to look at drafts of the paper if you bring them by my office during office hours. If time allows, you may be able to revise the essay if it's a disaster; I will decide if a revision is appropriate.


It is your responsibility to get to at least one of the scheduled events. Sometimes events get postponed or cancelled, so if you procrastinate and suddenly are not able to attend an event for this paper, you obviously won’t be able to complete or turn in the assignment—and that means a zero for the essay, which constitutes 15% of the course grade. Typically, several dozen cultural events are approved for this essay over the course of the semester, so you have plenty of opportunity to complete this assignment successfully. You are responsible for insuring that you attend an approved event; if you wait until the last minute and something goes wrong, be prepared for the consequences. This requirement applies to all students in the class equally; it’s not fair to make special exceptions when everyone else has handled her or his responsibilities appropriately.