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40 of 40 people found the following review helpful
on 7 November 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
Bibliography
Index
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308 of 312 people found the following review helpful
on 14 August 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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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on 1 August 2009
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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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on 8 February 2009
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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 29 July 2010
Definitely worth buying if you are studying at uni, or before if possible. A personal tutorial on how to really 'think' - what should be taught as part of General Studies at school but isn't!

Highlights:
1. Plenty of practice activities as you go along to test understanding of what you've just read. Take time to do these in order - each chapter builds on the last.

2. Chapter 9 - 'Critical reading and note-making' - prompts reflection on what you read from a book before you write anything down, so preventing blind copying out masses of notes without really comprehending them. Bridges the gap between work for school and the more rigorous demands of higher education.

3. The 'practice activities on longer texts' at the back - draws together the new skills you just learnt.

This book will certainly alter your perspective, and how you go about making a case during debates, etc. A TRUE GEM! Thoroughly enjoyable read, cannot recommend highly enough.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 30 April 2009
This is a University text, and the book, that I've loved the most in the entire year.

Step by step it challenges you to analyse and "think". Then compares what you thought was said, to was was "really" being said.

This book is quite life changing, and quickly improves all areas of your life.

Ever had pesky people annoy you? Debt collectors who have the wrong person, but won't leave you alone? Fire torpedo and launch your critical thinking skills at them.
They run for the hills.

Ever had to ask for a refund from a multinational? Well, they'll leave you alone after this. This is like legal training.

I scare myself, with how "sharp" and "focused" this book makes an ordinary person.

Totally life changing. I'd give this book to every pupil in our schools, to improve their grades overnight.

**Don't miss out on a star turn**
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 23 September 2011
I have just finished working through this book and now feel much more prepared for university study, and aware of what will be expected of me. The book effectively clarifies what critical thinking is and how it is used in academic reading, writing and note-taking.
I like the fact that the book has lots of activities and tests for you to complete, so that you aren't just being bombarded by lots of information. Instead, you're constantly being required to check that you understand what's being said, and therefore you're much more likely to remember it all.
The book does often include more words than are necessary, but it's easy enough to skip over those parts.
I'd strongly recommend this book to anyone about to start university study.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on 15 November 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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86 of 95 people found the following review helpful
on 25 July 2007
If you are unsure about how to critically think, or pinpoint an argument, then get this book. It has plenty of excersises to help hone your skills, and I'm glad I got this book before going into 2nd Year Uni.

Definatley a must-have in my opinion.
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36 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on 13 October 2008
This is the book to have if you wish to know more about critical thinking. The book has exercises and is abundant with knowledge to assist you with your exams, assignments and general thinking. A must have for all student, just wish i'd found it eariler.
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