Critical thinking (Study skills)

one of the main things were looking for in university assignments is evidence of your critical thinking you might have seen that phrase all over the place including in feedback on your work but what does critical thinking action mean well you could write a book on the subject and in fact if you go to the library or see dozens and dozens but to get you off to a quick start here's six very simple questions that you can ask in your reading to get you thinking critically about what the author is say it who what where when why and how so who who is writing this piece that you're reading are they an acclaimed expert in your field are they someone you've never heard of asking those questions can help me decide whether or not to trust their arguments what what are they saying can you follow the argument if you can't really see what they're arguing this might actually mean that it's a weak argument rather than you just not understanding the subject why why are they writing it think about what else the author knows about the subject are they writing from a particular point of view are they sponsored by a particular company where where is the argument valid are they talking about something that can be applied all over the world or only within one particular geographical location that might help you decide whether or not their argument could be more universally applied or whether it's only counted for a certain subgroup of people for example when when have they written the piece that you're writing is it relatively up to date taking into account the newest thoughts or is it something from quite a long time ago for example you might be reading a medical paper that will be superseded by more recent tests so the advice in the paper won't be valid and how how have they come to this conclusion can you see how they've gathered their data if they explain how they've analyzed it have they carefully noted the evidence and other resources that they're using to back up their point if they haven't this might mean that their point isn't valid or that the argument is weak so think carefully about the evidence that the author has shown you and there we go six simple questions to get you started obviously there's a lot more to it but if you approach the text with these questions in mind you'll at least get off to a good start if you like this video hit subscribe to see more videos some student careers and skills and check the link in the description for information about our critical thinking and critical writing workshops

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