GEOG 102: World Regional Geography
CTA #2 Essay Topic: Bordering on Mexico
What are the two opposing arguments for and against building a border wall between the United States and Mexico? We’ve all heard the rhetoric used by Donald Trump at presidential debates, campaign speeches or in one of his Twitter broadcasts. But are his statements true? Are they supported by facts? Here are a few quotes from Trump:
“We have people coming into the country or trying to come in, we’re stopping a lot of them, but we’re taking people out of the country. You wouldn’t believe how bad these people are,” Trump said. These aren’t people. These are animals. Gregory Korte and Alan Gomez, USA TODAY Published 6:13p.m. ET May 16, 2018 | Updated 10:03 a.m. ET May 17, 2018
On Mexican immigrants: “They’re bringing drugs, crime and are rapists.” Trump Tower Atrium in Manhattan on June 16, 2015
“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.” Newsday.com staff Updated November 9, 2016, 2:48 AM
“We have no country if we have no border,” Trump said during the third presidential debate on Oct. 19, 2016, reiterating his desire to build a wall. “We have some bad hombres here and we’re gonna get ’em out.”
Responding to criticism of a policy that has led to more than 2,000 children being separated from their parents at the border, Trump tweeted that Democrats were to blame: “They don’t care about crime and want illegal immigrants, no matter how bad they may be, to pour into and infest our country, like MS-13,” he wrote, referencing a violent criminal gang based in Central America. Trump tweet June 19, 2018.
Write a 300-word essay (minimum) which fully answers the questions below. Your word count does not include your essay title or your references. Be sure to re-visit the first CTA assignment and use the same process and instructions to work through this current CTA. You should also refer to the CTA grading rubric. Remember to include in-text citations (using page numbers from your e-text), essay title, and reference section.
Your SafeAssign similarity score should be no more than 12%.
USE ONLY THE FOLLOWING RESOURCES TO EVALUATE the credibility!! It should be clear in your response that you have used these articles as your primary sources (attached to the assignment).
National Immigration Forum Fact Sheet (refer to attachment)
Weighing the Pros and Cons of US Border Wall (Refer to attachment)
History of the US Mexico Border (Refer to attachment)
Questions to consider:
Be sure to eliminate any political, social, or personal opinions until you write your closing paragraph.
Finish your essay by answering these questions:
Use the following tips to craft your essay response:
Six Critical Thinking Skills You Need to Master Now
By Will Erstad on 01/22/2018
No matter what walk of life you come from, what industry you’re interested in pursuing or how much experience you’ve already garnered, we’ve all seen firsthand the importance of critical thinking skills. In fact, lacking such skills can truly make or break a person’s career, as the consequences of one’s inability to process and analyze information effectively can be massive.
“The ability to think critically is more important now than it has ever been,” urges Kris Potrafka, founder and CEO of Music Firsthand. “Everything is at risk if we don’t all learn to think more critically.” If people cannot think critically, he explains, they not only lessen their prospects of climbing the ladder in their respective industries, but they also become easily susceptible to things like fraud and manipulation.
With that in mind, you’re likely wondering what you can do to make sure you’re not one of those people. Developing your critical thinking skills is something that takes concentrated work. It can be best to begin by exploring the definition of critical thinking and the skills it includes—once you do, you can then venture toward the crucial question at hand: How can I improve?
This is no easy task, which is why we aimed to help break down the basic elements of critical thinking and offer suggestions on how you can hone your skills and become a better critical thinker.
What is critical thinking?
Even if you want to be a better critical thinker, it’s hard to improve upon something you can’t define. Critical thinking is the analysis of an issue or situation and the facts, data or evidence related to it. Ideally, critical thinking is to be done objectively—meaning without influence from personal feelings, opinions or biases—and it focuses solely on factual information.
Critical thinking is a skill that allows you to make logical and informed decisions to the best of your ability. For example, a child who has not yet developed such skills might believe the Tooth Fairy left money under their pillow based on stories their parents told them. A critical thinker, however, can quickly conclude that the existence of such a thing is probably unlikely—even if there are a few bucks under their pillow.
6 Crucial critical thinking skills (and how you can improve them)
While there’s no universal standard for what skills are included in the critical thinking process, we’ve boiled it down to the following six. Focusing on these can put you on the path to becoming an exceptional critical thinker.
The first step in the critical thinking process is to identify the situation or problem as well as the factors that may influence it. Once you have a clear picture of the situation and the people, groups or factors that may be influenced, you can then begin to dive deeper into an issue and its potential solutions.
How to improve: When facing any new situation, question or scenario, stop to take a mental inventory of the state of affairs and ask the following questions:
When comparing arguments about an issue, independent research ability is key. Arguments are meant to be persuasive—that means the facts and figures presented in their favor might be lacking in context or come from questionable sources. The best way to combat this is independent verification; find the source of the information and evaluate.
How to improve: It can be helpful to develop an eye for unsourced claims. Does the person posing the argument offer where they got this information from? If you ask or try to find it yourself and there’s no clear answer, that should be considered a red flag. It’s also important to know that not all sources are equally valid—take the time to learn the difference between popular and scholarly articles.
This skill can be exceedingly difficult, as even the smartest among us can fail to recognize biases. Strong critical thinkers do their best to evaluate information objectively. Think of yourself as a judge in that you want to evaluate the claims of both sides of an argument, but you’ll also need to keep in mind the biases each side may possess.
It is equally important—and arguably more difficult—to learn how to set aside your own personal biases that may cloud your judgment. “Have the courage to debate and argue with your own thoughts and assumptions,” Potrafka encourages. “This is essential for learning to see things from different viewpoints.”
How to improve: “Challenge yourself to identify the evidence that forms your beliefs, and assess whether or not your sources are credible,” offers Ruth Wilson, director of development at Brightmont Academy.
First and foremost, you must be aware that bias exists. When evaluating information or an argument, ask yourself the following:
The ability to infer and draw conclusions based on the information presented to you is another important skill for mastering critical thinking. Information doesn’t always come with a summary that spells out what it means. You’ll often need to assess the information given and draw conclusions based upon raw data.
The ability to infer allows you to extrapolate and discover potential outcomes when assessing a scenario. It is also important to note that not all inferences will be correct. For example, if you read that someone weighs 260 pounds, you might infer they are overweight or unhealthy. Other data points like height and body composition, however, may alter that conclusion.
How to improve: An inference is an educated guess, and your ability to infer correctly can be polished by making a conscious effort to gather as much information as possible before jumping to conclusions. When faced with a new scenario or situation to evaluate, first try skimming for clues—things like headlines, images and prominently featured statistics—and then make a point to ask yourself what you think is going on.
One of the most challenging parts of thinking critically during a challenging scenario is figuring out what information is the most important for your consideration. In many scenarios, you’ll be presented with information that may seem important, but it may pan out to be only a minor data point to consider.
How to improve: The best way to get better at determining relevance is by establishing a clear direction in what you’re trying to figure out. Are you tasked with finding a solution? Should you be identifying a trend? If you figure out your end goal, you can use this to inform your judgment of what is relevant.
Even with a clear objective, however, it can still be difficult to determine what information is truly relevant. One strategy for combating this is to make a physical list of data points ranked in order of relevance. When you parse it out this way, you’ll likely end up with a list that includes a couple of obviously relevant pieces of information at the top of your list, in addition to some points at the bottom that you can likely disregard. From there, you can narrow your focus on the less clear-cut topics that reside in the middle of your list for further evaluation.
It’s incredibly easy to sit back and take everything presented to you at face value, but that can also be also a recipe for disaster when faced with a scenario that requires critical thinking. It’s true that we’re all naturally curious—just ask any parent who has faced an onslaught of “Why?” questions from their child.
As we get older, it can be easier to get in the habit of keeping that impulse to ask questions at bay. But that’s not a winning approach for critical thinking.
How to improve: While it might seem like a curious mind is just something you’re born with, you can still train yourself to foster that curiosity productively. All it takes is a conscious effort to ask open-ended questions about the things you see in your everyday life, and you can then invest the time to follow up on these questions. “Being able to ask open-ended questions is an important skill to develop—and bonus points for being able to probe,” Potrafka says.
Will Erstad is a Sr. Content Specialist at Collegis Education. He researches and writes student-focused articles on a variety of topics for Rasmussen College. He is passionate about learning and enjoys writing engaging content to help current and future students on their path to a rewarding education. https://www.rasmussen.edu/student-experience/college-life/critical-thinking-skills-to-master-now/