Students! Need to improve your critical thinking for top marks? Learn the core analytical skills for critical thinking...
Student Essentials: Critical Thinking – in one hour helps you master the essentials of this core study skill in just 60 minutes. If you are studying for an undergraduate degree at university, critical thinking and analysis is imperative when studying and can often be the difference between an acceptable grade and a great grade.
This book will help you develop the key essentials of this crucial skill in just one hour so you can successfully apply it to your studies straight away. Student Essentials: Critical Thinking – in one hour is packed full of jargon-free advice, step-be-step guidance and useful summaries to help you really get to grips with every element of critical thinking and analysis. Checklists and exercises ensure you tackle each stage of critical thinking head on and develop your skills from analysis and evaluation to constructing sound arguments and weighing up evidence.
Learn the critical thinking essential toolkit quickly and apply it to all areas of your study, including:
What is critical thinking? – the principles and essentials for study
Analytical skills – improve your technique when reading and note taking
Evaluating evidence – get to grips with arguments, counter claims and credibility
Building arguments – using evidence, secondary resources and examples effectively
Key tools – use the checklists and exercises to master every stage of critical thinking
In just one hour develop your core critical thinking skills for study success and perform at your optimum with Trotman’s Student Essentials series. Discover other titles in the series to help boost your study skills including:
Student Essentials: Exam and Revision Strategies – in one hour
Student Essentials: Essay Writing – in one hour
Student Essentials: Study Skills – in one hour
Student Essentials: Dissertation – in one hour
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A common complaint among university tutors is that students do not think critically enough. Essays are ‘too descriptive’, ‘have no evidence’ or ‘show no argument’. However, while students are expected to think critically and assessments are graded on this ability, ‘a critical approach’ is rarely actually explained.
What is critical thinking?
In everyday English, being critical means finding fault: The tutor criticised me for jumping to conclusions.
Another common meaning of critical is ‘highly important’: Managing your time is critical if you want to do well at university.
Critical also describes the work of those who review films, books and music. Film critics, for instance, don’t just say whether or not they enjoyed a film; they judge the film’s strengths and weaknesses using criteria such as the script, the acting and the direction.
This third meaning is closest to what is meant by ‘critical’ in academic studies.
A critical approach applies to all aspects of university study: not only reading and writing assignments but listening in lectures, giving presentations and speaking in seminars. It involves a number of skills:
• precision both in understanding academic texts and in writing your own
• being able to form and to follow arguments
• logical reasoned thinking
• knowing when to take information at face value and when to challenge
• analysing and evaluating information
• selecting the right knowledge for the task
• understanding issues from perspectives other than your own.
Clearly, the ‘thinking’ is as crucial as the ‘critical’.