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Essay on critical thinking

According to Jane A. Amos, critically thinking is one of the most important skills that a student will learn in college. This important skill is useful not only while studying but also after school. When in college the professors will require students to solve problems through critical thinking. At place of work, the employers will expect the employee to apply critical thinking when coming up with solutions for different challenges. Even in daily life encounters, one will apply critical thinking skills to come up with better decisions as compared to when decisions are made hastily. Critically thinking is among the necessary sets of skills to succeed in work place.

Definition of critical thinking

Critical thinking can be defined as the art of evaluating ones ideas in a systematic manner in order to come up with the best solution that fits every unique problem. Because of this, critical thinking forms a crucial part of one’s life. The daily challenges that one faces demands use of critical thinking for example, when deciding how to cope with stress in life. Critically, thinking will be useful in determining how to face each challenge and how to solve it. As shelly found out, majority of college assignments required her and still require today’s students to use critical thinking.

Importance of critical thinking-essay on critical thinking-essay on critical thinking

Having a lot of information is not sufficient, it is vital for one to have critical thinking skills in order to digest such information. This applies at both workplace and in life. For example, have immense knowledge in computer programming is not useful when one cannot develops a program that solves his organization’s needs. To come up with a program that fits the organization’s needs, one needs to use critical thinking. It enables one to decide which program will solve the needs of the organization among many programs that one has in mind. Another example of how to important critical thinking pertains to living a healthy lifestyle. One might be having enormous knowledge or information on how to lead a healthy life style. However, knowing what is good for one’s health is different from applying the techniques that will have a positive effect on one’s health.  One can complain of being out of shape but it demands critical skills for one to come up with an exercise program that will put the individual back to shape.

Critical thinkers are people who are able to gather information, evaluate the information, and come up with their own decisions based on what they have gathered. Critical thinkers do not follow the bandwagon. They do things their own ways and avoid making uninformed decisions they are not quick to say what everyone else is saying without looking at the facts. They question their own views with the objectives of finding the truth. When critical thinkers find different facts that point away from their point of view, they are flexible and they change their stand.Essay on critical thinking

On the contrast, uncritical thinkers do the opposite of critical thinkers. They made rush decisions without giving much of a thought. The views they form are rarely formed from a point of evaluation.  Opinions are placed at the same level as facts. They follow other people’s opinions without questioning and once they have formed their views, they become rigid and hard to change even when faced with new evidence. It requires critical thinking for one to discover this kind of habits and to begin challenging the way one views situations.

Qualities of a critical thinker-essay on critical thinking

At school, there are instructors who give assignments with insufficient instructions. This requires students to think critically to come up with solutions. At work place, some bosses give tasks with minimal if any directions. This will call for a critical thinker to devise solutions for such tasks.  Possessing critical thinking skills will enable one to solve the challenges faced at school or place of work. Therefore, someone with critical thinking qualities has the self-confidence to face challenges in life.

Process of critical thinking-essay on critical thinking

Critical thinking is a process that stars with gathering information, evaluating it and coming up with conclusions from it.

Tools for gathering information in critical thinking

Brainstorming, using survey, observation and asking questions.

Tools for analyzing information in critical thinking

Comparing different positions, evaluating pro and cons of one’s brainstorming, distinguishing facts from opinions, and interpreting the findings.

Tools for drawing conclusions in critical thinking

Forming conclusions based on data analysis, applying the conclusions made, evaluating the conclusions, reassessing the conclusions based on new evidence, making necessary adjustments and keeping reassessing and readjusting as need be.

Basic guidelines for critical thinking

Accepting that diverse opinions exists, Asking questions to learn more,  recognizing uncertainty exists, avoiding stereotype, challenging the norm, evaluating one’s opinions and that of experts, accepting that disagreement exists, Ignoring solution killers, using brainstorming and being flexible.

Critical reading skills-essay on critical thinking

In college, critical reading skills are important since a student will be required to read instructions and other form of assignments that are complex. Critically reading documents in college or at place of work will help an individual to come up with creative solutions.

Questioning the tools of critical reading

Critical readers make use of many basic rules that critical thinkers use. One major guideline that critical readers is questioning. It helps the critical reader decide whether he or she agrees with the author. Critical readers actively look for major points and supporting evidence from the text, they are reading. They also look for bias and other diverging ideas that can be raised from the text they are reading.  Through this, critical readers are able to involve themselves with the reading materials and can be said to understand it better.

Before one starts reading, as a critical reader he or she should skim through the reading materials to have an idea of what is to come.  However, the most vital thing is to keep asking questions. This is what makes critical readers know what the message the author wants to pass across.

Critical thinking questions to ask-essay on critical thinking

What is the author’s opinion?

What can one say is the author’s purpose?

Does the author show objectivity or is he or she biased?

Does the author give support for his points?

What credentials does the author possess?

How reliable are the author’s sources?

What is the other point of view of the issue?

What is the author’s thought pattern?

How does the author deliver information?

What are my views on this story?

Critical thinking and the media

Today, media is everywhere and one cannot run away from it. People are bombarded with all sorts of advertisements as companies compete to get customers. It is therefore important to use critical thinking in analyzing these advertisements and other media messages one comes across.

Tips for thinking critically about the media

  • One has to ask the question whether the author is biased. For advertisements, all of them are biased since the designers of such advertisements want to sell something.
  • Look for opinions and facts
  • One has to get used to editorial viewpoints in magazines and newspapers.
  • Look for emotional response that the advertisement wants to evoke.
  • Be keen on television commercial since they tend to overdramatize situations.