Critical Thinking in a Nutshell

Critical Thinking in a Nutshell

Critical thinking is the art of making logical decisions characterized by logical thought processes in order to derive a conclusion. For this to happen, a critical thinker must conceptualize, synthesize, analyze, evaluate, observe, reflect and reason. In addition, the critical thinker needs to have an open mind and be ready to embrace arguments confirming or contrasting his/her viewpoint.

Qualities of a good critical thinker

To write critical thinking papers effectively, one needs to possess the following characteristics:

  • Focus on the main issue and decision
  • Raise the correct question- questions that will give relevant answers to the question at hand
  • Must have relevant information to answer the question at hand
  • Has effective communication skills especially when addressing complex issues
  • Has an open mind
  • Has developed relevant tools to come up with conclusions, solutions and criteria to test conclusions derived

Possible hindrances to writing critical thinking papers

Anchoring– it borders on our personal experiences; they influence our thought processes and thinking. To overcome this, have self-awareness and make a deliberate choice on how you will address the issues at hand.

Status quo– it is the failure or fear to challenge what we know. To write critical thinking papers effectively, focus on the objectives of the assignment. and test how the status quo will contribute in achieving the goals of your assignment.

Framing of the question– the same question framed differently can elicit different answers. To get a credible answer, look at the question from different perspectives to get as many possible answers.

Sinking cost– this is the tendency to justify decisions made in the past despite the changes that have taken place.  To overcome this when writing critical thinking papers, focus on making rational decisions based on the current status of events; living in the past is more expensive.