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Pros and cons


Explore the strengths and weaknesses of each solution

Introduction

Goals

Judge the quality of each solution.

Why

Judging different solutions will help you come up with your own solution and contribution to the issue.

What

To judge the quality of each solution you will examine its strengths and weaknesses.

How

Materials

For this technique, you will need

  • your list of solutions
  • a word processor

Steps

For each solution:

1. Write down its strengths -- how well does it resolve the tension in the problem case?

2. Write down its weaknesses -- what tensions in the problem case are not resolved? What are the negative effects?

3. Write down your overall assessment -- when judging, remember that:

  • ¬†every solution with will both succeed and fail to resolve a particular problem case
  • ¬†success and failure is not an either/or judgement but a "to the extent that" judgement
  • your judgment should balance both positive and negative effects
  • sometimes partial solutions can be combined together to more fully address a problem
  • a solution is stronger if it addresses your paradigm cases

Critique

Deliverables

For each of the solutions in your list, you will add its:

  • strengths
  • faults
  • your overall assessment

References

Kaufer, D. S., Geisler, C., & Neuwirth, C. M. (1989). Arguing from sources: Exploring issues through reading and writing. San Diego, CA: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich (p. 195-197).