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 Critical Thinking
 Critical Thinking
Textbook Site for:
Critical Thinking, Thoughtful Writing, Second Edition
John Chaffee et al.
Web Links
Chapter 5 Understanding Language: Writing Precisely

Exploring the Chapter Topic

George Orwell’s "Politics and the English Language"
Here is the online text of George Orwell’s famous essay, in which Orwell (most famous, perhaps, for his novel 1984 ) argues for the necessity of clarity in language as an inescapable correlate to clarity in thought.

Inference: Figurative Language
This page is part of Dan Kurland’s Strategies for Critical Reading and Writing web site. The overall site is divided into sections covering various aspects of critical reading and writing.

Six Ways to Tighten Your Writing
This article by Karen Hertzberg is part of The Writer’s Roost web page (; it appeared in the October 2000 newsletter. Hertzberg offers interesting advice on the use of figurative language, cautioning against its overuse.

American Dialect Society
This scholarly site explores the variety of dialects used throughout North America. This site is particularly interesting to consider in relation to the idea of Standard American English.

The Online Slang Dictionary
This comprehensive site allows you to search for the etymology of various slang terms and even to submit your own slang discoveries.

Exploring the Readings

Malcolm X with Alex Haley, "The Autobiography of Malcolm X"
Merriam-Webster OnLine
To facilitate your word study, search through the free online dictionary or thesaurus available at this site.

Chronology of the Life of Malcolm X
A useful chronology outlining some of the more important dates in the life of Malcolm X.

William Least Heat Moon, "Blue Highways"
Roadside Magazine
This is the online companion to Roadside Magazine. Both are devoted to encouraging exploration of America’s more hidden treasures, including back roads, locally owned diners, and downtown, or "Main Street," businesses.
RV America
All you ever wanted to know about RV’s. Resources include a chat room and bulletin board for America’s RV community.

Martin Luther King, Jr. "I Have a Dream"
Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site
This website introduces visitors to the Martin Luther King, Jr., historic site in Atlanta, Georgia. The website also provides biographical and historical information.

Civil Rights: Table of Contents
A lengthy study of slavery and of the Civil Rights movement in America, written by Kevin Hollaway. The site is straightforward, providing only text in most cases, though there is no shortage of information.

Great American Speeches
An extensive index of some the most important speeches in American history, including King’s famous "I Have a Dream" speech. This site also provides background information connected for each speech in the index. The speeches are arranged on a time-line to give a sense of where they occurred in history.

Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Papers Project
This is the site of the Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Papers Project, a project whose aim, in part, is to make online transcriptions of King’s work available. His "Letter from Birmingham Jail" can be found as a PDF file by clicking the link provided on the web site.

Deborah Tannen, "Sex, Lies, and Conversation: Why Is It So Hard for Men and Women to Talk to Each Other?"
Gender Differences in Communication
This synopsis offers brief results on gender communication research and tips for improving communication between men and women.

Decoding Body Language
This chart by an international business consultant provides possible interpretations for a range of gestures and poses. Because the consultant does not provide sources for his research, it might be best to look at the chart as a possible interpretation that you can challenge with your own observations.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, "Proposed Message to the Congress" ("Day of Infamy" Speech)
The Program in Presidential Rhetoric : Presidential Speech Archive
This site, maintained by Texas A&M University, has archived the text of presidential speeches from George Washington to George W. Bush.

Franlin Delano Roosevelt Memorial
Sponsored by the Franklin Delano Roosevent Memorial in Washington, D.C., this site offers biographical material on Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, including information on FDR’s fireside chats, his disability, and the events of his administration.