How to think critically

Day by day people have to deal with different life situations, and while for some of them it seems to be easy, others may find certain problems pretty complicated. This is related to different skills and abilities contributing to people’s success, and critically thinking is one of them. Some people believe that they really cannot obtain this skill, but it is not true because there are things that can be done in order to master it.

What is critical thinking?

It is the ability to think rationally about different matters, including objects of actions. People with critical thinking skills are able to do the following:
  • Understand the logical relation between ideas;
  • Find inconsistencies and common mistakes in reasons;
  • Identify, construct, and evaluate arguments;
  • Solve issues systematically;
  • Evaluate the importance of ideas and more.

A person with critical thinking is able to predict consequences from what he or she knows, and how to use the information to solve problems. This person also knows how and where to look for relevant sources of information.

What is not considered critical thinking?

Critical thinking is not about accumulating information, and a person who has a brilliant memory and can recall lots of interesting facts is not necessarily a good critical thinker.

Critical thinking may be confused with being critical of other people or being argumentative. This skill may be used for finding fallacies and poor reasoning, but it plays a significant role in finding cooperative reasoning and constructive decisions. Critical thinking is a great helper in acquiring knowledge, improving theories, and strengthening arguments.

There is a belief that critically thinking people do not have creativity because they are required following certain rules of logic and rationality, and creativity does not go along with many rules. This is not really so. Moreover, creative people have to be critical thinkers because this is how they can evaluate and improve their creative ideas.

Is critical thinking important?

For every person, it is important to have the ability to think clearly and rationally; however, there are activities, professions, and other fields that require critical thinking more than others, for instance, research, education, finance, management, legal professions, etc. Learning how to think critically can really contribute to anyone’s life.

Particularly, critical thinking is important in the economy driven by technology and information. People often have to deal with different changes quickly and effectively, and the new economy requires flexible intellectual skills, as well as the ability to analyze information and use different sources of knowledge to solve problems.

Critical thinking is very important for students. They have to deal with plenty of different assignments that they have to complete within a certain period of time. Students with critical thinking can complete an essay, research paper, or any other academic paper quicker and more effectively than those who do not have this skill developed. There have been lots of students who have ordered their paper work from our professional writing service, and this is not necessary that they were not able to complete their task themselves. Often critically thinking students understand that sometimes it is better to pay for paper work instead of losing some extra money at work, or, for instance, missing time with family, or just avoiding a good rest to go on later.

Critical thinking is crucial for science because it requires it in experimentation and theory confirmation. It also plays an important role in democracy. The proper functioning of a democracy is impossible without citizens thinking critically about various social issues.

What are the main benefits of critical thinking?

The following are the main benefits of critical thinking:
  • Critical thinking improves language and presentation skills, and people with such a skill can express their ideas and thoughts in a more understood and clear way. It is also a very useful skill when it comes to analyzing the logical structure of texts;
  • Critical thinking is essential for creativity. In order to come up with an interesting creative solution, brainstorming often is not just enough. You may drown in plenty of ideas, but without critical thinking, it will take you a pretty long period of time and lots of efforts to find the best one. This skill plays an essential role in evaluating new ideas, selecting the best ones and modifying them if there is a need for this;
  • Critical thinking is crucial in evaluating ourselves. In order to succeed in life or just be able to achieve some goals, it is important to understand and evaluate our skills and abilities clearly.

What to do to learn how to think critically

First of all, you should determine a clear goal for yourself that you aim to achieve by making a decision based on a range of possibilities. This will be your starting point, and every right decision that you make will lead you to it.

The following are 7 basic tips for thinking critically:
1. Stick to the basic questions. Sometimes an explanation gets so complex that the original question is simply lost. That is why you should always remember what the starting point is. You should ask yourself the following questions:
  • What do you already know and how do you know that?
  • What is your goal (prove, demonstrated, disprove, critique, etc.)?
  • What are you overlooking?

2. Do not believe to all assumptions. There are lots of assumptions that we consider true by default, and there has been plenty of situations in the history when people started to wonder if the basic assumption were really true, and, eventually, some of them were proved false;

3. Be aware of the way you think. Humans are not machines, and they are affected by different stuff, including ideas, talks, feelings, etc. This impact on the way we think and understand the reality. That is why it is really important to understand what stands behind our decisions;

4. Try reversing things may help if you stuck with a certain problem. It is sort of the “chicken and egg problem.” Try to think if you really confuse the cause with consequences and vice versa;

5. Evaluate the existing pieces of evidence. If you are looking for a solution to a certain problem, you may want to check out how a similar problem was solved by other people. There is easy access to information that we can enjoy today, and this can help you a lot. However, it is important to consider this information critically, taking to attention all the differences that exist;

6. Remember to think. It is important to go through different sources of information, but you should not forget actually to think yourself;

7. Understand that there are no people who think all the time critically. Unlikely, you will be able to do this all the time, because critical thinking activates when you need to sort a task. It is sort of a tool that can be used when you need it.

What does affect critical thinking?

There are different ways and techniques that can help you learn to think critically, but it is also important to learn what serious thinking mistakes are:
  • Quoting an authority in attempting to justify the conclusion or being based on the fact that many people have the same point of view;
  • Excluding opposite arguments. Sometimes it is even very useful to consider arguments that seem to be wrong because even they may have some grain of truth that should be considered;
  • Circular reasoning is used when there are not enough pieces of evidence. It occurs when the premise of an argument is used to support the same argument;
  • Sticking with a favored argument for a position, because this is how you can miss more interesting possibilities;
  • Asserting, according to which if two things happen together, and especially when they occur one after the other, that first one causes the other. There should be other more direct evidence of such relation. Both events may be the cause of something else;
  • Inability to recognize common elements in conflicting ideas or facts. It is important to figure out whether they are compatible, independent, or mutually exclusive;
  • Explaining an idea or position with an analogy that is not parallel, for instance, comparing oranges and apples;
  • Making a conclusion too quickly. A person may use only a couple of facts to determine a conclusion, but it is essential to consider different alternatives and different facts;
  • It is also important to remember that what is true for one is not essentially true for something else.

What do to if you cannot master this skill?

Trying to develop this skill is already a big step forward. It takes time to understand how it works, and it is important to begin with the very simple things. You will become better and better at this over the time.

For instance, you are a student, and you want to be able to think critically to get a high grade. It is good to prioritize your assignments, as well as other things that you should do in life. Critical thinking will also help you complete your academic papers because this is how you can more effectively work with different sources of information, structure your work, and do other actions required for a high grade. Basically, doing an assignment is a way to learn critical thinking, and that is why it is good if you spare enough time on your education. However, if you encounter certain problems, we will gladly help you with that. Our writers have mastered their writing and critical thinking skills for many years, and that is why they can complete any complicated task before the deadline.

As it was mentioned above, critical thinking can be mastered over the time, but if you believe that you do not have this skill now, you should engage in the field that does not require rational thinking that much as economics, for instance. You will have plenty of everyday situations that will require from your making decisions, choosing positions, generating ideas, etc. As long as you keep learning how to improve your thinking skills, you will achieve great results.

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