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Critical Thinking Skills: Developing Effective Analysis and Argument (Palgrave Study Skills) [Paperback]

Dr Stella Cottrell
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
RRP: 14.99
Price: 11.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

20 May 2011 0230285295 978-0230285293 2nd edition
The second edition of this leading guide helps students to develop reflective thinking skills, improve their critical analysis and construct arguments more effectively. Written by Stella Cottrell, leader in the field with over 1/2 million book sales to date, this text breaks down a complex subject into easily understood blocks, providing easy-to-follow, step-by-step explanations and practice activities to develop understanding and practise your skills at each stage.  Essential for students who are mystified by tutor comments such as 'more critical analysis needed', this is an invaluable tool for anyone wishing to develop advanced skills in this area and learn to apply them to tasks such as reading, writing and note-taking.
Now in two-colour, this edition has been fully revised and contains a brand new chapter on 'Critical Reflection' along with additional material on essays and referencing.

Frequently Bought Together

Critical Thinking Skills: Developing Effective Analysis and Argument (Palgrave Study Skills) + How to Write Better Essays (Palgrave Study Skills) + The Study Skills Handbook (Palgrave Study Skills)
Price For All Three: 34.97

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Product details

  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan; 2nd edition edition (20 May 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0230285295
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230285293
  • Product Dimensions: 24.1 x 18.8 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,228 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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'I think this book is strong: clear, concise and relevant' - Liesl Schwabe, Yeshiva College, New York

'I liked this book - it is fun and new!' - Julie Engstrom, Brigham Young University–Idaho

'I found this text very useful not only for students but also for newly appointed staff teaching Academic Skills. The activities are most useful for the novice lecturer in particular to developing their own style while using this text as a guide' - Ann Anka, Havering College of Further and Higher Education

'I really endorse this book both for its clear and structural approach and its use of humour to more fully engage its audience' - Deidre Kelleher, University College Dublin

'One of the best texts for general critical thinking around at the moment… very good value for money' – Victor Glynn, Oxford University

Book Description

Bestselling practical and detailed guide to developing critical and analytical thinking skills for students at all levels

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
298 of 301 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Longer than necessary, but very useful 14 Aug 2006
If like me your lecturers constantly tell you that you need to "critically analyse" but don't actually tell you how to do it, this book will be very useful!

It gives you examples of the difference between describing and analysing and also has tests for you to check you understand each concept. There are also examples of how to write essays and when to use references to back up facts. It is also useful in pointing out how to avoid making assumptions or being biased.

The only slight downside to the book is that there is maybe too much information than is necessary. A lot of the introductory chapters may not be useful for those at university as it may all seem obvious but the book is also aimed at those at 6th form/college.

I bought this at level 3 and it taught me a few simple things which definately helped me pick up some extra marks and I ended up with a 2:1. Had I bought this at the start of level 2 I think I could have ended up with a 1st. Critical analysis is not difficult. Once you realise the simple process of doing this it comes naturally and this book certainly helped develop these skills.
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36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vital reading for any higher-education student 7 Nov 2010
This is one of the first books any and every higher education student should get hold of and read thoroughly and actively at the very beginning of their programme of studies, so they are equipped with the basic and nonetheless fundamental skill of any academic pursuit: critical thinking.

It really should be read actively since the book contains lots of examples and activities with questions for the reader to test their understanding of the points being discussed, and the answers are available a few pages later for the reader to double check.

Every chapter is framed with an introduction, and a summary of the information covered at the end of each chapter.

Very clear and useful.

Introduction, vii
Glossary, xii
1. What is Critical Thinking?, 1
2. How Well Do You Think? Develop your thinking skills, 17
3. What's Their Point? Identifying arguments, 37
4. Is it an Argument? Argument and non-argument, 51
5. How Well Do They Say It? Clarity, consistency and structure, 63
6. Reading Between the Lines: Recognising underlying assumptions and implicit arguments, 85
7. Does it Add Up? Identifying flaws in the argument, 105
8. Where's the Proof? Finding and evaluating sources of evidence, 125
9. Critical Reading and Note-making: Critical selection, interpretation and noting of source material, 147
10. Critical, Analytical Writing: Critical thinking when writing, 167
11. Where's the Analysis? Evaluating critical writing, 183
Texts for activities in Chapters 8, 9 and 11
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very useful 1 Aug 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm planning to undertake a dissertation - this book was recommended as background material for better analysis of what is required for the project work. It's well laid out and has a good structure that helps understand the key elements required in order to produce a piece of work suitable for a project report. However, I would suggest that it is not the sort of book that one would read in one go or even from start to finish - rather the sort that one would dip into and then go back to again in order better understand the points made.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book with only minor problems 15 Nov 2010
After the Study Skills Handbook saved my backside from being kicked out of college, I have happily recommended it to anyone, and now I am about to do the same with this book. I picked up the Critical Thinking Skills book from my university bookshop after registering for my double dissertation module, and it has already helped me in more ways than I first thought. When I got this book I thought that every now and then I would reference it or go back and check something which has been mentioned. What I did not anticipate is pouring over the activities and obsessively checking whether I have got them right, and if I haven't going back and red-doing them until I understood.

The book is easy to read, the blue print onto white paper makes it slightly easier to read (especially if you are like me and have dyslexia). It is clearly set out with short sentences, simple wording along with bullet points and diagrams making it more visual. This is however, where I have also found a few problems which are the only reason why I have not given this book 5 stars. The text is Times New Roman and often part of the sentence will be italicised. Now I know this seems minor and why I am bothering to mention it, well as I mentioned earlier I have dyslexia and these two things make it really hard to read sometimes. It's just something that I think needs to be kept in mind if the publishers are going to print a new edition of this book.

Overall very happy with it, and would recommend it to anyone who is in some form of further or higher education.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
Currently studying for a BA (Hons) degree, I am working on reviews, research projects and critical analysis. I found this book really useful. It is straight forward and down to earth, wirh plenty of exercises to try to improve your skills. I would recommend this book for any students undertaking any type of research projects or study.
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