Red Flags in Critical Thinking

Red Flags in Critical Thinking

Critical thinking involves following systematic steps or procedures to derive a conclusion. However, due to some factors, also known as red flags, this is impeded. Below are some red flags that you should watch out for in order to write an effective critical thinking paper.

1)     The bandwagon approach

There is a temptation to believe or fall for an argument if a sizeable number supports it. Critical thinking does not work with numbers; it focuses on conclusions derived from systematic reasoning and experimentation.

2)     Appeal to pity

The writer could introduce a scenario portraying suffering among the specific group under investigation. However, if the scenario is not related to the claim, it should be discarded.

3)     Appeal to loyalty

Words used to illustrate this include family and patriot. If such is not related to the subject under investigation, they should be discarded. They have a connotation of emotions as opposed to logic.

4)     Appeal to faith or belief

It focuses on making a collective conclusion of what a specific group should do. For instance, “Good Christians should …”

5)     Appeal to novelty

There is a misconception that everything new is better than what is being replaced. This is not necessarily the case. Critical thinking and writing requires that you conduct a thorough investigation of the old and new, and make judgment based on the merits and demerits of each.

6)     Appeal to authority

When quoting authorities in certain assignments, you must ascertain that the authority is an expert in the field or subject being studied; otherwise, the critical thinking paper will not carry the authority it should have. In fact, instead of heavily relying on authority, demonstrate systematic processes used to arrive at a conclusion.

7)     Appeal to fear

Fear is an effective manipulation tool. This is because when we are afraid, we do not take time to think; we act according to what has been said/instructed.