Paper One

Length: 1000- 1200 words/ 3.5-4 pages, exclusive of the Work Cited page

For your first paper, you’ll be analyzing impediments to your own critical thinking and how they shaped your decision making in a specific decision in your life.

First, think back to a decision you’ve made that you either now see as a bad decision or that you’re still not fully sure you thought through critically. It doesn’t have to be a super-personal decision (why did I date that girl for so long in high school?), and it can even be a decision that’s had a good outcome (why did I choose this university?), as long as you can express how you didn’t really think critically about it at the time .

Elements of Reasoning: For prewriting purposes, go around the circle of elements with this decision as you made it then, paying close attention to who you were when you made it (your Point of View). You’ll want to use these notes as you describe your decision-making process and put any elements of reasoning in bold in your paper. Plan to use between 3-5 elements of reasoning in your paper.

Impediments: Finally, think about what types of impediments got in your way as you made this decision. Develop paragraphs in your paper around these impediments and put them in bold type in your paper as well. Your thesis statement should say something about how the impediments that blocked your critical thinking interacted with the elements of reasoning to keep you from using them effectively.

Because all papers in CRTW must include documented material, make sure you quote Nosich at least once when talking about at least one impediment that hindered your critical thinking. You'll then need to give the page number in MLA format in your paper and create a Works Cited page with Nosich's book on it at the end of your paper.


1. Don’t be afraid to use the first person “I.” This is a paper about you and your thinking.

2. You can tell this as a story if you’d like, so long as it’s clear that you’re analyzing your own thinking and which impediments and elements of reasoning were (or weren’t) involved.

3. Whether you tell this as a story or write it as a more formal academic paper, your introduction should give some context to your decision: when was it, what was it, and why did you need to make it?

4. In your conclusion, rather than repeating what you’ve already said in the introduction and body of the paper, please try to reflect on what you’ve learned from analyzing this decision and/or making the decision in the first place. What might you do differently in the future? How might you approach the same impediment(s) if you feel them creeping into your thought process in future decisions?