Critical Thinking Skills by Stella Cottrell

Critical Thinking Skills : Developing Effective Analysis and Argument by Stella Cottrell pdf

What is critical thinking?

Critical thinking is a cognitive activity, associated with using the mind. Learning to think in critically analytical and evaluative ways means using mental processes such as attention, categorisation, selection, and judgement. However, many people who have the potential to develop more effective critical thinking can be prevented from doing so for a variety of reasons apart from a lack of ability. In particular, personal and emotional, or ‘affective’, reasons can create barriers. You are invited to consider, in this book, how far such barriers could be affecting your own thinking abilities and how you will manage these.

This Book gives you opportunities to:

• understand what critical thinking is
• recognise some of the benefits associated with critical thinking skills
• recognise the personal qualities associated with critical thinking
• recognise barriers to the development of good critical thinking skills
• assess your current understanding of critical thinking and identify your priorities for improvement

Critical thinking and argument

The focus of critical thinking is often referred to as the ‘argument’. Chapter 3 identifies the features of an argument in critical thinking. The argument can be thought of as the message that is being conveyed, whether through speech, writing, performance, or other media. Critical thinking helps you to identify the obvious and the hidden messages more accurately, and to understand the process by which an argument is constructed.

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