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Ch 8: MTEL: Critical Reasoning in Communication & Literacy

About This Chapter

Check out these lessons to prepare for the MTEL Communication and Literacy Skills exam. Here we focus on how to evaluate the reasoning and logic of an argument within a text. Practice your test-taking skills by completing the quizzes and test here.

MTEL: Critical Reasoning in Communication & Literacy - Chapter Summary

This chapter will likely turn out to be a critical piece of your preparation for the Massachusetts Test for Educator Licensure (MTEL) Communication and Literacy Skills exam. In the following videos, our instructors will walk you through the process of deconstructing a text's argument and supporting details, and testing it for logic and effectiveness. The concepts discussed here include:

  • Thinking critically and evaluating reasoning in a text, essay or article
  • Fact, persuasion, and informed opinion
  • Logic and logical fallacies
  • Reliability, worth, and credibility in source evaluations
  • Author bias and credibility
  • Analyzing effectiveness and validity in an argument

Each lesson presents you with a video tutorial on a specific topic which quickly breaks down key concepts supported by real-world examples. After reviewing each video, complete the corresponding quiz and worksheet. Take the chapter test at the end to see if there are any areas you may need to revisit.

MTEL: Critical Reasoning in Communication & Literacy Chapter Objectives

The MTEL Communication and Literacy Skills exam has both a reading and a writing subtest, and though these lessons are focused on the reading subtest you will certainly be wise to apply the concepts here to your original composition in the writing subtest. This content applies particularly to Objective 0005, which requires you to use critical reasoning to evaluate texts. This objective accounts for 16.7% of the reading subtest with 6-8 multiple-choice questions responding to reading passages. To pass the exam, you must score at least 240 (on the 100-300 score scale) on each of the subtests.

The MTEL website is where you will go to register for the exam. There, you can find more information about when and where the test is administered, what to expect at the testing center, and when to expect your score report after the exam.

12 Lessons in Chapter 8: MTEL: Critical Reasoning in Communication & Literacy
How to Evaluate Reasoning

1. How to Evaluate Reasoning

Evaluating reasoning in an essay or article is an important step in critical analysis. Being able to judge if something is reasonable whether or not you agree with the argument will be our learning focus for this video.

Evaluating Reasoning in an Essay or Article

2. Evaluating Reasoning in an Essay or Article

Being able to effectively evaluate reasoning can be helpful to you as you develop your own deductive and inductive reasoning skills and put those skills to work in persuasive essays. This lesson sheds some light on how to evaluate reasoning.

Fact vs. Persuasion vs. Informed Opinion in Nonfiction

3. Fact vs. Persuasion vs. Informed Opinion in Nonfiction

How do you know what to believe and what to doubt? Watch this video lesson to learn how to differentiate between facts, persuasion, and informed opinions.

What is Critical Thinking? - Definition, Skills & Meaning

4. What is Critical Thinking? - Definition, Skills & Meaning

Critical thinking is a term that we hear a lot, but many people don't really stop to think about what it means or how to use it. This lesson will tell you exactly what it means and make you realize that the average person largely ignores critical thinking.

The Critical Thinking Process: Point-of-View, Assumptions, Evidence & Conclusions

5. The Critical Thinking Process: Point-of-View, Assumptions, Evidence & Conclusions

In this lesson, you'll learn the steps involved in the critical thinking process. You'll consider how coming to a conclusion effectively involves multiple questions that get you thinking about a topic in a new way.

The Role of Argument in Critical Thinking

6. The Role of Argument in Critical Thinking

In this lesson, you'll consider what makes a good argument that involves critical thinking. You'll also learn the shortcomings of using opinions to try to prove a claim is valid.

What is Logic? - Definition & Examples

7. What is Logic? - Definition & Examples

In this lesson, we will discuss what logic is and how it is used to formulate and evaluate arguments. We will look at the flaws in reasoning and how to avoid false conclusions. We will cover informal logic, formal logic, symbolic logic, and mathematical logic.

What are Logical Fallacies? - Define, Identify and Avoid Them

8. What are Logical Fallacies? - Define, Identify and Avoid Them

Logical fallacies are flaws in reasoning that can throw your argument off track and confuse your reader. This video explains how to identify a few common logical fallacies and how to steer clear of them.

Evaluating Sources for Reliability, Credibility, and Worth

9. Evaluating Sources for Reliability, Credibility, and Worth

It's important to have information that is reliable, credible, and worthwhile in your speech. Sometimes, it's hard to determine these factors. This lesson will help you!

Recognizing Biases, Assumptions & Stereotypes in Written Works

10. Recognizing Biases, Assumptions & Stereotypes in Written Works

In this lesson, we will define and learn how to recognize biases, assumptions and stereotypes in written works. We will also practice identifying these elements with a few writing samples.

Author Credibility: Definition & Examples

11. Author Credibility: Definition & Examples

Find out what author credibility is and how it makes a difference to your research paper. Learn how to determine author credibility and where to find reliable sources.

How to Analyze an Argument's Effectiveness & Validity

12. How to Analyze an Argument's Effectiveness & Validity

In this lesson, we will learn how to analyze an argument. We will pay close attention to the parts of an argument and the questions we must ask about each of those parts in order to determine the argument's effectiveness and validity.

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