Critical thinking is good thinking or thinking well and is an important skill to develop while in university. It involves asking questions about what you see and hear, thinking actively, finding the imperfections in an argument, researching then processing and combining the data (University of Tasmania 2007:online). Thinking critically has different components and some people will have their own ideas of what components should or should not be involved. For this discussion, I will be using the seven components from the University of Tasmania (2007:online); clarity, accuracy, precision, relevance, depth, breadth and logic.
Clarity means that you understand the topic and have a clear idea of what is being presented. Without clarity, you will be lost and feel like the topic is out of your depth. If this is the case then you will need to do some research on the subject before you can make a decision on your judgement of the topic.
When you research a topic make sure that your references are accurate. Researching online can turn up heaps of material, but you need to be careful here and research the source of the material. Just because information shows up online does not necessarily mean that it is correct. The author may just be giving his/her own opinion on the subject without doing any research themselves. This is not what you want, you want accurate information that has a reliable source.
Precise knowledge is a must when thinking critically. You want to make sure you deliver correct information and keep personal judgements and prejudices out of the equation. An example of this would be of a lawyer presenting evidence to the court. His or her evidence must be precise or they could lose the case for their client.
Make sure there is relevance in your thinking.