Education

How to develop critical thinking skills

Have you ever seen those students who ask what you never thought of asking in analyzing an essay? They reason from an opposite direction, and they question everything.  Such students are critical thinkers, and we don’t have many in society. If you wish to join the club, read on to learn how to develop critical thinking skills. 

What is critical thinking?

In summary, it’s your mental process in making a decision.  Critical thinking is how you organize your thoughts, ask obvious questions, and question everything to develop a concrete explanation. Philosophers and investigators are known to be among the best critical thinkers. Your analytical report writing assignment will also require some level of critical thinking. 

Critical thinking requires you to be open-minded. You must watch your thoughts closes and note their sources by asking yourself “stupid” questions. For instance, why am I not suspecting Lorna, and she was in the room when my money disappeared?  What if I’m mistaken about Esther?  

Neutrality is an essential aspect of critical thinking. It requires you to be unbiased in your thinking by spotting biased and prejudiced ideas and correcting them.  You can only achieve this by collecting methodological evidence and be consistent in your reasoning.  

How to improve your critical thinking 

You have learned that critical thinking is not an inborn thing. You cultivate it with constant practice. The good news is, anyone can acquire these traits though how long it takes depends on different individuals.  Continue reading to get an answer if you are asking, “what are the five steps to analyze an argument?” 

  • Ask basic questions 

It’s a common myth that critical thinkers ask complicated and mechanical questions. The truth is that a good critical thinker asks fundamental questions.  They understand that it’s the simple and ignored questions that solve their problems.  

Ensure you break your questions into various parts to enhance your critical thinking skills. It helps you to avoid sideshows and get to the real problem. For instance, what information do you have? How did you get it? Where are you heading with the information? Are you assuming anything?

  • Learn your metal process

Whatever you assume as truth is always influenced by an idea that is already in your mind. Students who think they are critical thinkers are only analyzers. Before you conclude, ensure you have used facts in your research. 

Your brain goes through a series of mental process that helps you make senses your surroundings.  Whatever you think is because you have an already formed idea of the results to expect. Investigate these thoughts to ensure they are not misleading you.  

Various factors influence your thinking. For instance, you may think depending on your experience, your daily conversation, and what you read. Always ask yourself why you have a particular opinion.  

It’s important to note that even a perfect critical thinker is never biased free. 

  • Modify your thinking 

It’s time to adjust your ideas after realizing you may be highly biased.  Knowing your error is one thing, but changing it is another thing. It may sound like an easy task to abandon how you process your ideas, but it’s not. 

Research shows that we make decisions depending on various factors. For instance, someone gets a job based on whether an employer can identify themselves with you, such as gender and name. 

The best way to avoid this is to accept that you are biased and you need to change. Any literature materials that discuss biases, how it occurs and how to avoid it would help you become a better critical thinker. 

  • Think in reverse 

It’s a fascinating method of solving complicated and hard-to-answer questions.  That’s what drivers do when stuck. They reverse their car to correct any turn that led them to a ditch of unpassable road. In critical thinking, you don’t wait until you make a wrong conclusion. Instead, you “drive” as you use the side mirror, correct all errors, and ensure your thought process will lead to the right conclusion. 

It’s the same thinking used in a chicken-egg argument.  The chicken came first because an egg is laid by a chicken.  What about the chicken? Did it originate from an egg?  The reverse argument may not always solve your problems, but it helps you not make any assumptions.  

  • Consider all possible answers when analyzing an essay 

There is no one answer in your critical thinking unless it’s a factual issue.  Learn to look at all possible answers and weigh your options.  Your answer should be based on a more logical argument.   Narrow your options until you get the correct answer.

Final verdict 

The article has discussed how to be a critical thinker. The takeaway is to question your thinking, analyze possible answers and be less biased.  Use these tips to help you in analyzing an essay during your end f semester exam. 

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