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RDG 100 - Critical Thinking Analysis

1. Getting Started

Exclamation PointFirst Things First - Assignment Requirements

Before you begin work on any research project, examine the assignment closely for any requirements. 

Q. How long is the paper? 

This could be a page length, a page range, a word count, etc.

Q. How many sources?

How many total sources does your instructor ask for; are they all outside sources or does your textbook count as one of your sources?

Q. What kind of sources?

Does your instructor specify certain types of sources? Are there other requirements such as how current/old the sources can be, or where the source should come from - the library, a database, a book/ebook, a peer-reviewed journals, etc.?

Q. How do you cite sources?

Most instructors will ask you to use MLA format for your citations, but double-check to make sure. You may want to remind yourself what information you need to create the MLA Works Cited page and in-text citations.

Q. What is due?

What do you have to turn in? Is it just a paper? Are there other pieces like a rough draft, outline, summary, reading response, a tutorial, etc.  Make note of all the parts of the assignment and create a checklist to make sure you don't leave anything out.

Q. When is it due?

How long do you have to work on this project? Is there one due date for everything or are there multiple due dates for different parts of the assignment?  Plan out your time, so you don't get stuck doing all the work at the last minute. Plan extra time in case you have problems or get stuck.

Q. What other requirements should you make note of? 

Are there requirements to include a certain number of quotes or paraphrases? Do you need to have a certain number of paragraphs? Do you need visuals/images? current statistics? Make note of any other requirements on the assignment sheet, and ask your instructor for clarification on any parts you're not sure about.

Selecting a Topic

The first thing you need to do before you begin a research project is to select a topic that you're going to write about. Below is a list of topics you can choose from for this assignment: 

  • Modern medicine: Is there a push for pharmacy business and the technological and scientific advances in modern medicine vs. alternative medicine? Who benefits from these advances mainly? In what aspect? Who gets negatively impacted by this and how?
  • Identity: race, gender, sexuality--how is it portrayed now compared to before? What are the issues or dangers of this and why?
  • Freedom: religion, choices, speech, parenting, education -- how & in what aspect has the freedom changed in our society nowadays? Which groups have more freedom & who or which groups have less freedom?
  • Government/Politics: how much control do they have over the public & in what aspects? Is there manipulation of power? If so, in what way, if not, why not?
  • Addictions: what are several addictions, not only to drugs? Which addictions are encouraged instead of discouraged or being treated? How does the increase of those addictions affect the society? Who does it benefit if more people are addicted to those things?
  • Psychological disorders: how are they viewed or identified compared to ten/twenty years ago? What are some things that were considered as psychological disorders that are now considered normal? How does that affect the society? What are some issues with not getting treated for a disorder but instead, being told that it's normal?
  • Religion: what is the purpose of religion? How is religion viewed now by the society? Is it encouraged or discouraged? Which religious groups are slowly being suppressed or repressed due to society's views on certain topics?