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Essay on Critical Thinking

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What is critical thinking? How to develop critical thinking skills? Who needs them and why are they so important? Our online writing company conducted its own research devoted to the subject, and now we publish this essay on critical thinking in order to share the results with you. Keep reading if you are interested, and bear in mind that critical thinking is something that will definitely come in handy at school and university.

The definition of critical thinking

Critical thinking is the ability of a human to think rationally and understand logical connections between various ideas. Ancient Greeks were among the first human beings who pondered over this concept. You can track down the origin of critical thinking in the works by Plato and Socrates, famous Greek philosophers.

Critical thinking comprises multiple aspects, each of them aiming at getting the clearest impression possible with regard to a certain issue. Thus, people with well-developed critical thinking skills can do the following:

  • acknowledge and analyze logical relations between two or more ideas;

  • build up a valid argumentative network based on factual information;

  • discover discrepancies in somebody else’s arguments;

  • draw up a consistent plan for getting out of difficulties;

  • distinguish important ideas from trifles;

  • assess the expedience of popular beliefs.

Having a good memory does not mean having critical thinking skills. It is more than being able to accumulate information – in fact, it is about processing it. You can see a vivid illustration of critical thinking in the works by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; his Sherlock Holmes is probably the most famous literary character to possess critical thinking skills.

Keep also in mind that you should not confuse critical thinking with criticism in general, which means commenting on other people’s drawbacks. Criticism is a very wide term, and it can either include critical thinking (when a person makes constructive remarks) or completely lack it (then we talk about destructive criticism).

The importance of critical thinking

As you see from this essay critical thinking is a vital skill for successful studies and future career. In general, critical thinking will bring you the next benefits:

  • Critical thinking will improve your efficiency irrespective of the field you are working in. Whether it is law, business, linguistics, management, teaching or any other sphere, you will be able to solve arising problems systematically and achieve high performance.

  • Critical thinking will make you more eloquent, which in turn helps you persuade others. When you have critical thinking skills, you are able to organize your reasoning in a clever way and at once get hold of the audience’s attention.

  • Critical thinking will boost your creativity. New ideas do not pop up out of nowhere; on the contrary, in most cases it is a laborious process of generating multiple new solutions, only few of which stand the test of advisability. The more ideas you can come up with, the better your chances are to produce something valuable.

  • Critical thinking is an effective tool for self-reflection. You will need it to select decent values in life and to make the right choices. Creative thinking will help you find out what really matters.

  • Critical thinking will help quickly analyze new tendencies in the world and choose an appropriate strategy. It mostly applies to economy and politics, but may also concern modern technology. Being a few steps ahead of the crowd gives you the opportunity to adapt to a new environment before it knocks you down.

How to develop critical thinking skills

In this essay on critical thinking skills PurEssay will also teach you how to develop them. We have prepared three tips that will improve your ability to think rationally.

First of all, stay objective. A human is an emotional being, but trusting your emotions and following your heart will not do for developing critical thinking skills. Right now we are not talking about relationships and personal affairs in general; we mean objectivity in dealing with actual tasks – at work or university. When you feel overwhelmed by emotions, take a one-minute break and make several deep breaths. Then imagine the situation from a perspective, in a detached way. For example, reading Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and feeling blind hatred towards the monster, grasp the situation as a whole: not only does he ruin other people’s life, but he also suffers from people’s violence. So what the monster shows is a fair response to the malice.

Secondly, you should question conventional wisdoms. People often tend to believe in something just because others believe in it too. If you get to the crux of the issue, you may find out that it has nothing but a sheer assumption behind it. For instance, a long time ago people so ardently believed in Ptolemaic system that they preferred to kill those who disagreed rather than question the credibility of it. Giordano Bruno was one of the sentenced to death for his beliefs, which later were proved to be true by science.

The last piece of advice from PurEssay will be to cultivate curiosity. If you are willing to learn more about the world you are living in, sooner or later you will become a well-rounded individual. Having vast knowledge at your disposal, you will analyze information more efficiently. Read books and watch movies, especially classical ones. They are the concentrate of human knowledge and experience, which can clarify a lot of things even in the modern world.

Critical thinking in essay writing

Some people may think that only those who write essays on critical thinking need these skills, but this is a misconception. In fact, many essays would only benefit if their authors switched on their critical thinking in the process of writing. That is what our writers do, especially when they deal with an argumentative essay. Critical thinking helps you pick out appropriate arguments and arrange them in a logical sequence, so that the reader understands the idea clearly, whether he has critical skills himself or not. Here is a catch: you do not need to have them in order to understand somebody else’s reasoning, but you would hardly provide your own solid argumentation without critical thinking.

This short guideline will help you use critical thinking in the process of writing academic essays:

1. Analyze existing material on your topic, trying to detect inconsistencies between different sources or even within one source.

2. Solve these inconsistencies by relying on statistical information or actual experiments. It is no wonder that laboratory results not always work perfectly on practice.

3. Develop your own position on the issue, taking into account what you have learnt from the sources and from your experience.

4. Think of a suitable plan for your academic work that would reflect your point of view to the best advantage.

5. Edit your essay and correct those excerpts that look unreliable and disputable. Substantiate them with references if necessary.

In conclusion, critical thinking is an essential skill for work and studies, especially when it comes to essay writing. Critical thinking is a decisive factor of your success because it shows how independent you are from others. Being able to produce your own ideas and find appropriate arguments to uphold your position gives you a considerable advantage in comparison with people who ignore the power of critical thinking. From our essay about critical thinking you found out that these skills are not inherent, which is the good news because it means that everyone can develop them.

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