Critical Thinkings

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Critical thinking has been defined in many ways, but is essentially the process of deliberate, systematic and logical thinking on any subject, while considering bias or assumptions that may affect your discussion.

Critical thinking can be defined as, "the art of analysing and evaluating thinking with a view to improving it" (Paul & Elder 2009).

In everyday language, criticise has a negative meaning-pointing out weaknesses or finding fault.

However, not all criticism is negative in an academic context.

Writing helps you clarify your thinking in terms of relevance, reasoning, and accuracy.

Some professional courses may also require reflective writing assignments, such as built environment, education, engineering, medicine and social work.Have you been asked to complete an assignment and one of the criteria is "critical analysis"?Have you received feedback on an assignment that says "little analysis", or "no clear argument", or "too descriptive"?Critical thinkers test what they are told and what they read.At high school, most learning occurs at the levels of Knowledge, Understanding and Application.When you read in your discipline or listen to a lecture, ask yourself: Critical thinking is a skill, so develop the following habits to help develop your critical thinking skills: What are the lecturers' expectations of their students? For more on critical reading strategies see - Effective reading. Always note the source of the text: by whom, where and when it was published.Write down any questions you have, or possible problems with the writer's ideas.Bloom's Taxonomy of Intellectual Behaviour - or the thinking you need to do at university*The pyramid below shows the levels of thinking skills expected at university in all disciplines of study.The top three intellectual behaviours: Analysis, evaluation, and creating; are considered higher levels of thinking and help us to demonstrate our critical thinking.As a student, you may not feel you have the right to 'criticise' the published work of researchers and practitioners.At University, criticism or critique is the practice of examining and evaluating the reasons and evidence for claims on any topic.


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