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A Guide on How to Improve Critical Thinking

A student who has critical thinking skills has the essential requirements to write excellent academic papers. However, most students do not possess such a skill and more often than not they are incapable of articulating concepts clearly in a manner that would appeal to readers.

Is there a way I can improve my critical thinking skills? This is a question posed by students in their academic life. As assignments and tasks increasingly become complex, you may be called upon to utilize critical skills that you most obviously lack. Nor to worry, you can learn on various ways of sharpening your critical thinking that will help you in making a good decision, expressing yourself coherently, and processing knowledge effectively.

Critical thinking is a high-degree form of thinking that uses sophisticated systems of judgment to analyze, assess, and construe information in a way that is indisputable. A critical thinker often develops coherence in all forms of argument with due consideration on the validity, credibility, and the applicability of information.

Absorbing and deliberating on information are the two features that should work in tandem if one is to be thought of as a critical thinker. Absorbing information helps in recalling of the details while deliberating is a way of interacting with the information to come up with insightful arguments.

While it is a skill, critical thinking is also a part of academic disciplines that are entrenched in various rules of scientific instruments of study, rhetoric, arguments, theory, and formal logic.

This beneficial guide takes you through all aspects of critical thinking including how to write a critical thinking essay, develop critical thinking, and improve critical thinking – among other insightful instructions on how to be prosperous in the process.

What Is Critical Thinking Essay?

A critical thinking essay is an academic writing that helps you come up with better analysis. Such an essay teaches you to analyze texts by reading them through with an analytical mind using applicable methods after which you point out the weaknesses in the arguments or concepts presented by the author and then coming up with your own logical thoughts. In this essay, you are often required to answer specific questions about a topic in a way that your standpoint comes out clearly and is convincing to the audience. Thus, the quality and the logical flow of thoughts are two key parameters that tutors will always look out for in your writing.

How to Write a Critical Thinking Essay

While it requires a totally different approach in terms of prewriting and the actual writing process, a critical thinking essay takes the convention structure of academic writing, that is, introduction, body, and conclusion. The following steps are ways by which you can come up with a critical thinking essay that will earn you good grades and impress your tutors.

  • Selecting the topic. At the university or college level, students are often handed literature, controversial issues, article, books, movies, and other forms of literary texts to analyze. However, should you have a chance to select a topic yourself; it is prudent to select an intersecting one with a large resource base that would allow you to easily find pertinent information. Also, it should not be very difficult as to complicate your opinion.
  • Determining existing information and gathering new knowledge. Before dwelling on the analysis, always make it a point to jot down the points that you know regarding the topic. Write a list of questions that will guide you and then read or watch your literary work attentively. Write the main points down while you read through.
  • Developing a strong thesis. A thesis is the idea that is emphasized in the paper. It is the argument that you seek to support throughout the body of the essay. Always ensure your thesis is concise and clear. This way, a reader can follow through and discern your focus.
  • Writing the body paragraphs. This forms a significant portion of writing that will determine if the argument you make is clear enough for your audience. Thus, it requires a thorough analysis of the literary work.
    Present a thorough analysis of the information derived from the literary work. Outline the main arguments, claims, and evidence in the literary work. Identify the strengths and weaknesses, and then outline the significant relationships.
    It is not a good idea to consider your own viewpoint. A proper critical thinking essay entails considering the different perspectives present in the text, having in mind the scholarly opinions evident.
    Examine the contexts of the authors and the approach taken in the argument. Often, an ideological point of view can give insights on the subject. Make sure that your evaluation is not biased in any way.
    You should create your opinion regarding the evidence presented in a sub-paragraph. However, you should avoid using the first person pronouns such as “I” and resort to formal academic writing. You should be professional in your argument.
  • Concluding. In your last paragraph, summarize the main ideas presented in the essay. Outline the significance of your outcome and make recommendations for further study.
  • Concluding. In your last paragraph, summarize the main ideas presented in the essay. Outline the significance of your outcome and make recommendations for further study.

How to Improve Critical Thinking Skills

Improving your critical thinking skills entails practice. However, there are effective strategies that can get you started. Some are discussed below:

  • Asking essential questions - when tasked with writing an essay on critical thinking or with analyzing a text, make it a norm to ask basic questions such as; what is the goal of the text? What information do you have regarding the topic? What can you ignore? etc.
  • Considering motive – the intention of the author of a text can help you analyze it better, thereby, improving your critical thinking skills. You should be able to identify the clear motive in the text.
  • Doing your research – it is important to do thorough research on a topic so as to have much information for which you properly develop a cohesive argument.
  • Looking beyond face value – you should always look beyond what you read in text and consider the underlying problems, the possible solutions, and advantages and disadvantages to get more insights.
  • Understanding your intellectual process – to be an exceptional critical thinker needs more self-reflection on your intellectual ability. Despite being a good thinker, individual bias is a common phenomenon that you should be wary of.
  • Discovering different perspectives – when given the opportunity to write about a topic, always be sure to seek the perspective of numerous sources and not focus on a single source that may have flaws.
  • Being wary of logical fallacies – this entails discovering tendencies such as false conclusions, misjudged data, and incorrect reasoning that may lead to poor arguments.
  • Breaking it down – when given a topic, you can evaluate it by breaking it into smaller components, which will help you get better insights that lead to a proper argument of the topic.

These tips are effective in improving your critical thinking skills. There are also other ways of developing your critical thinking skills.

How to develop critical thinking skills

Bias resulting from emotions is falls under main reasons for a poor argument. Students normally approach topics with a formed opinion on the subject matter without taking into consideration several perspectives. Various strategies can help you develop critical thinking skills that can lead to insightful decisions when analyzing text. They include:

  • Self-criticize your thoughts and actions – a self-reaction of the reasons for your thoughts when criticizing text helps to develop your critical thinking skills.
  • Be an active listener – a good critical thinker should keenly listen to criticism, arguments, and ideas of others without interruption. This helps you to absorb the information others want to relay and get better insights.
  • Develop foresight – having the ability to predict the future effect of decisions is one way to think critically.
  • Analyze information – always be at the forefront in breaking down information and analyzing its various components to better understand it, which enables you to get better insight.

Critical thinking essay

Often, you are required to write a critical thinking essay. Such a task can be daunting, particularly where you have no idea of how to begin. This guide already discussed how to write a critical thinking essay.

Every topic is unique and requires you to take novel approaches. In this section, we shall introduce you to critical thinking essay topics that tutors normally ask students to write on. The guide will give you some insight on how to go about these topics.

Popular critical thinking essay topics

Below is a list of common topics and a preview of the writing process for some of them:

  • What status and rights does a female worker have in the United States?
    You can use Hofstede’s dimension to discuss the type of society America is in terms of gender identity. Then research on various job aspects such as remuneration, promotion, leadership, and competition. Use sources to assess the way female workers fit into these aspects in the United States.
  • Do you think the Affordable Care Act is good legislation?
    Herein, write background information on Affordable Care Act focusing on their advantages and disadvantages. Create your opinion based on how it has or will impact on your or a majority of the public. Do you prefer it or other health insurance? Is it sensible?
    Other topics are listed below. You can get overviews on how to write them on our website or order our perfectly-written critical thinking essay examples.
  • What are the benefits and drawbacks of being a vegetarian?
  • Does red meat lead to cancer?
  • Discuss how gender stereotypes affect Arabs American identities.
  • Is corporal punishment the best way to maintain discipline in schools?
  • What are the influences of the modern eating trends in the food industry?

Critical thinking essay examples

The essay below was written by one of our professional writers and will give you an overview of the way such essays should look.

What Effect Does Violent Video Games have on Children?

“…As reported in the Science Daily of October 1, 2018, researchers from Dartmouth College conducted a meta-analysis in which they reviewed 24 studies around the globe from 2010 to 2017. The studies comprised more than 17,000 participants of the age range of 9 to 19 years-old (Dartmouth College, 2018). The outcome showed changes in physical aggression for the participants. The physical aggression manifested in the form reports filed by peers, teachers, parents, and children about the participants fighting or hitting someone…

References

Dartmouth College. (2018, October 1). Children's violent video game play associated with increased physical aggressive behavior. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 6, 2019, from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/10/181001154033.htm”

For a full view of the example, you can order a sample paper on our website today!

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