What if the bottom falls out? How can you prepare and protect yourself for bad times based on lessons learned from the Great Recession of 2008 and the Great Depression?

Issue 1: Facing Economic Change

The pace of economic and workplace change is faster than ever. How have people been affected by such changes in the past and how have they adapted? What lessons can we learn for success in the modern workplace to deal with the changes that might occur down the road?

1b. Select Your Research Question

To begin investigating your selected issue, you must choose to focus on one of the following research questions.

Issue 1: Facing Economic Change

If you choose to focus on this issue for your presentation, you will select one of the following questions.

What if the bottom falls out? How can you prepare and protect yourself for bad times based on lessons learned from the Great Recession of 2008 and the Great Depression?

What happens when the workplace changes? How can people adjust when the workplace changes and what lessons can we learn from the U.S. Industrial Revolution and the Information Age?

1c. Identify Key Words

Now that you’ve selected the research question that you’ll focus on for your presentation, it’s time to look for the sources that will provide answers to it. Although you will have access to a list of primary and secondary sources that have already been collected for the issue you’ve chosen, you’ll still need to figure out which ones will help you answer your research question. That’s where key words can help.

As you read earlier in this course, key words are specific and meaningful words associated with your research question. You may also want to include concepts or phrases from your research question (like “U.S. manufacturing 1940s” below) in order to focus your search. Check out the example below to see this process in action.

Step 2. Comprehension

Now that you’ve selected a research question and you have some key words in mind, it’s time to find two primary and two secondary sources for your assignment and review them. Your key words will come in handy as you evaluate the list of sources to see which ones best support your research question.

2a. Choose Primary and Secondary Sources

Based on the issue that you have chosen, review the corresponding sources and select two secondary and two primary sources that most closely support your research question.

Issue 1: Facing Economic Change Issue 2: Engaging Civil Rights

Facing Economic Change Sources Women’s History Sources

2b. Evaluate Primary and Secondary Sources Once you have selected the four sources that you want to use to investigate your research question, you are ready to begin evaluating for credibility. The touchstone template will guide you through each of the elements that are required to evaluate your sources.

Step 3. Application

Now it’s time to think about how your sources connect to one another.

Step 4. Analysis

The Analysis step of the critical thinking process is about taking a closer look at your evidence. Think about which pieces of evidence will provide the strongest support for your argument and what details from your sources you will use to illustrate your main points.

What evidence provides the strongest support for your argument?

What evidence provides the weakest support for your argument, or even opposes your argument?

How will you use this evidence to make an argument about your issue?

Step 5. Synthesis