Critical Thinking Processes

Students often ask why critical thinking is required at university and what it means to be a critical thinker.

It presupposes assent to rigorous standards of excellence and mindful command of their use.

It entails effective communication and problem-solving abilities as well as a commitment to overcome native egocentrism The earliest documentation of critical thinking are the teachings of Socrates recorded by Plato.

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First level of reading critically When writing at university, your aim is to convince the reader by using critical thinking to promote your argument.

Weighing up alternatives in order to make decisions is part of the critical thinking process.

For example, think about the following activities and ask yourself what strategies you would use to come to a decision about: In each of the activities listed above, you probably noticed that you would have to find information, analyse and evaluate the alternatives in relation to your aims and requirements and reach a conclusion.His method of questioning is now known as "Socratic questioning" and is the best known critical thinking teaching strategy.In his mode of questioning, Socrates highlighted the need for thinking for clarity and logical consistency.These considerations will help you to structure your talk so that it is relevant (on topic) and meaningful to your audience.Consider the content of your presentation in terms of the questions listed in the previous section (critical thinking for academic writing) but remember that this is an oral presentation and you have to engage your audience and sustain their interest in the topic.Using your critical thinking skills will help you to research, plan and anticipate any questions that may arise in relation to the topic.Critical thinking is a vital aspect of academic engagement and the more you practice developing these skills, the better you will be at analysing, questioning and evaluating your own writing as well as the academic texts you encounter at university.Ask yourself the following questions when you are planning and writing your first draft.Before giving a presentation it is vital to consider your purpose, the needs of your audience and how best to research and present the topic.The ability to reason logically is a fundamental skill of rational agents, hence the study of the form of correct argumentation is relevant to the study of critical thinking."First wave" logical thinking consisted of understanding the connections between two concepts or points in thought.

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