The Final Portfolio Project is designed for you to practice your critical thinking skills in an effort to understand your own mind. You will first select an issue that you wish to investigate critically (social, professional, or personal). Begin to think about why this issue is important to you and what questions you have about the issue. Examples: 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 be reduced in my company? What are the most effective ways to address anxiety and depression? How can I use these to better my health? Is social media a positive or negative influence on me? On my children? With the stress and anxiety of modern-day society, how can I learn to live more optimistically and hopefully? IMPORTANT: The Final Portfolio is not a traditional “term paper.” Rather, it is an exercise in critical thinking designed for you to practice applying intellectual standards and other critical thinking tools to the way that you think. Please read the full Portfolio Project description in the Module 8 folder page to preview your Portfolio Project assignment. Also, review the Portfolio Project grading rubric, which you can also access in the Module 8 folder. The two portfolio project milestones in this course will help you define your topic (Module 1) and then outline your topic (Module 4). Module 1 Milestone Directions: Critical Thinking Topic (3 paragraphs) Submit a three-paragraph overview of your critical thinking topic that addresses the following: What is your topic? Why is this topic of interest to you? What critical questions do you have on this topic? How might you narrow your topic to think more clearly and carefully about issues related to your topic? Include two scholarly sources that you could use in your Final Portfolio. Find scholarly sources that relate to your topic Option #1: Critical Investigation 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: Title page Introduction 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? 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.” 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? 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? References Page Details: You may write in the first person for your Final Portfolio Project. Your paper should engage a minimum of six scholarly sources that are not required or recommended readings for this course. (Links to an external site.) Option #2: Annotated Bibliography Select an issue or problem that you wish to investigate critically. Include your introduction that explains the context of the issue. From this introduction, formulate a question or thesis (Links to an external site.) on the issue so that your research has a clear and cogent direction. Use Paul and Elder’s (2012) intellectual standards to find a topic or problem that is clear, relevant, significant, and precise. Now, construct an annotated bibliography (Links to an external site.) that addresses the problem or issue through scholarly sources. See this page (Links to an external site.) for a good overview of how an annotated bibliography should be constructed and for an annotated bibliography example. Your annotated bibliography should include the following: Title page: include your name, date, title of annotated bibliography, and class Introduction (Links to an external site.) : provide a two-paragraph introduction that frames the issue or problem carefully Annotations (Links to an external site.) : Summarize the main point or arguments of each scholarly source. What are the main arguments? What is the point of this book or article? What topics are covered? If someone asked what this article/book is about, what would you say? After summarizing a source, it may be helpful to evaluate it. Is it a useful source? How does it compare with other sources in your bibliography? Is the information reliable? Is this source biased or objective? What is the goal of this source? Each annotation should be roughly one or two paragraphs in length. Conclusion (Links to an external site.) : Provide a few paragraphs to conclude your annotated bibliography. Reflect on your issue or problem and how the sources informed your thinking. What have you learned? How can you apply the intellectual standards to your subject to think clearly? What assumptions did you take into the project—how were these assumptions challenged? References Page Details: Your annotated bibliography should include a minimum of 10 scholarly sources that are not required or recommended readings for this course. The CSU Global Library (Links to an external site.) is a good place to find these sources. You may write in the first person for the Final Portfolio.
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