Essay On Define Critical Thinking
Type of paper: Essay
Topic: Thinking, Critical Analysis, Writing, Evidence, Information, Perspective, Evaluation, Philosophy
Critical thinking is the ability to think rationally and clearly. The ability to be involved in independent and reflective thinking is critical thinking. Somebody who has critical thinking skills is capable of:
• understanding the logical links between thoughts and ideas
• identify issues, construct solutions and evaluate conclusions that may be arguments
• detect what are the inconsistencies of the matter and casual mistakes in reasoning
• systematically solve problems
• The importance and relevance of ideas should be identified.
• One starts to reflect on the justification of his own values and beliefs.
Critical thinking is just not about collecting information randomly but processing it smartly as well. A person who has a good memory is not necessarily good at critical thinking no matter he knows a lot of facts. A critical is capable of reaching conclusions and removing all his confusions regarding the topic. He knows how to use the information well and solve problems by researching regarding the facts not from one viewpoint but by many and also seeks for reliant and authentic sources of information for himself.
Critical thinking does not mean that you have to argue each and every perspective of others and think that your own is the best. But it can be used for something better and productive like exposing bad reasoning and fallacies. Critical thinking helps us gain knowledge, enhance theories and strengthen our concepts. ('Critical Thinking', 2015)
Step 1: Make a decision about what do you think and why you think that way.
Step 2: Look out for other views than particular ones and more evidence.
Step 3: Decide the most reasonable view point out of all
Step 4: Decision regarding what do you think and why you think that way. (THINK ABOUT PURPOSE AND STATE THE QUESTION) Practical Exercises/Strategies:
1. Writing down what you are thinking, just free writing sentences.
2. Write drafts of your final writing, as writing has three stages, pre-writing, writing and post-writing, one should be able to "free associate". It provides an opportunity for the person to think freely in vast areas and not particularly about something, writing what you are actually thinking is very important. Thinking is all about exploring interest in something and expansion of new horizons. It is not about sticking to what you know already but exploring much more.
3. A list of questions should be generated (with a friend or your own) on the topic, and somebody else should ask those questions from you.
4. A list of questions prepared by your peers would be helpful as well. (Criticalthinking.org, 2015)
Step 2: Seek Other Views and More Evidence (GATHER INFORMATION AND WATCH YOUR INFERENCES) Strategies/ Practical Exercises:
Think if you have given this topic a thought before in some other way than you usually think about? Did you disagree with your own viewpoints about the topic in the past? Have you thought what made you disagree and what made you think that way? The purpose of doing this exercise is to explore other ways of thinking about the topic.
2. Literary/academic sources should be searched and looked into that may provide many viewpoints about the topic.
3. Alternative perspectives on one single topic should be explored by speaking to your friends, professors or family members.
4. The conclusions are made by the end of this activity; you should rethink about them. Self-doubts are helpful.
Some questions that should be considered are that A) Am I very rash? B) Am I in a rush to reach a conclusion that I didn’t search further to look for the right answer? C) Is my interpretation of the evidence correct?
Step 3: Decide which view is most reasonable. (CHECK ASSUMPTIONS AND CLARIFY CONCEPTS)
Now that a person has done enough research and collected evidences, it’s now a good time to start evaluating the evidences that one has and take a position on that.
1. Take enough time to distinguish the various perspectives. A list of likes and dislikes and pros and cons for each of the perspective should be made. Mostly, there would be arguments that you would argue to and to which you would agree, regarding each perspective
2. Make sure that you stay objective while collecting research and evaluating the evidence. All the research evidences should be considered without being biased. The evidence that supports your original position shouldn’t be considered instead take into account those evidences that may conflict with the position and carefully evaluate the evidence.
3. First to form a position, the evaluation of the evidence is necessary.
Much of our thinking is biased, uninformed, partial and distorted. The quality of our life and what we do highly depends on how we think about things and perceive them. There are eight elements that help in the critical thinking and that make it imperative.
Purpose ( Why do you think about a specific thing)
Question ( The original problem, issue)
Information ( Data, facts, observations, etc.)
Interpretation and Inference (Conclusions, solutions)
Concepts ( theories, law, etc.)
Assumptions (Presumptions, axioms, etc.)
Implications and consequences ( effects)
Point of view ( perspective, orientation, etc.) (Philosophy.hku.hk, 2015)
Critical Thinking. (2015). Retrieved 16 April 2015, from https://ctl.utsc.utoronto.ca/twc/sites/default/files/CriticalThinking.pdf
Criticalthinking.org,. (2015). Defining Critical Thinking. Retrieved 16 April 2015, from http://www.criticalthinking.org/pages/defining-critical-thinking/766
Philosophy.hku.hk,. (2015). Critical thinking web. Retrieved 16 April 2015, from http://philosophy.hku.hk/think/critical/ct.php