Critical Thinking

Essay by ToomuchRNUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, September 2004

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Critical Thinking !

What is critical thinking? Critical thinking is disciplined, deliberate method of thinking used to search for meaning; employs strategies such as asking questions, evaluating evidence, identifying assumptions, examining alternatives, and seeking to understand various point of view. (Delaune Ladner 1998), it's a means by which available information is interpreted with the intent of arriving at a justifiable premise or conclusion.

For example, when a statement is written with the purpose of influencing the reader's opinion of a topic, critical thinking will evaluate the statement for factual data, rather than emotional appeal. That is not to say that an emotional appeal cannot be well founded, but critical thinking will cause the reader to look for data within the statement, that can substantiate the writer's premise. Many times we assume that the thoughts we have are correct for no other reason than the fact that they occurred to us.

We often think that we are right even when we are wrong. We frequently do not recognize the illogical tendencies in ourselves and those around us. If we examine the origin of our feelings, thoughts, and emotions, we will become aware of the need to do more critical thinking.

A good place to start with critical thinking is to know what it is not. The natural disposition to be unaware of the thinking process is uncritical thinking. Accepting something as true because it occurred to us or applying standards of judgment without questioning criteria for the judgment is an example of uncritical thinking. The questioning or inquiry we engage in when we seek to understand, evaluate, or resolve is defined as critical thinking (Ruggiero, 1998). The critical thinker has four steps to follow. First, follow evidence where it leads. Second, consider a variety of possible viewpoints and explanations. Third, weigh...