Smart Thinking : Skills for Critical Understanding and Writing by Matthew Allen

Smart Thinking : Skills for Critical Understanding and Writing by Matthew AllenSmart Thinking : Skills for Critical Understanding and Writing by Matthew Allen (OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS) – second ed. pdf

SMART THINKING is a practical, step-by-step guide to improving skills in analysis and critical thinking, and the effective communication of arguments and explanations. With an accessible and straightforward style, this book is of great use for students at university and also final-year school who are looking to improve their analytical skills.

This second edition treats reasoning as an aspect of communication, not an abstract exercise in logic. It not only provides detailed advice on how to practice better analytical skills, but also demonstrates their application to finding information and writing more coherently. The focus in this book is on improving one’s own reasoning rather than simply reading others’ arguments. In particular, SMART THINKING emphasises how to develop arguments that are coherent and take account of their audience and context.

Features of this new edition include:
• an updated glossary, a guide to further reading, and a guide to important skills
• additional advice on casting and developing arguments
• a new chapter at the end of the book that demonstrates, in an extended example, the skills learnt in the book
• a more thorough treatment of how to find and use information via
reasoning, and –
• exercises and review questions in each chapter to enhance knowledge and test readers’ skills.

Matthew Allen is an Associate Professor who coordinates the Internet Studies Program, and Associate Dean Teaching and Learning, Humanities, at Curtin University of Technology.


1 Smart Thinking
What is smart thinking?
How do we study smart thinking?
Why do we need to ‘think smart’?

2 Claims: The Key Elements of Reasoning
Understanding language
More about claims
Claims and reasoning

3 Linking: The Key Process in Reasoning
Links between claims
The analytical structure of reasoning
Learning more about the analytical structure

4 Understanding the Links between Claims
Dependent premises
Special functions of premises
The link from premises to conclusion

5 More Effective Reasoning I: Better Claims
Well-formed claims
Well-founded claims

6 More Effective Reasoning II: Better Links
Effective use of dependent premises
Strength of support

7 What Kinds of Reasoning are There?
Deductive and inductive reasoning
Categorical and propositional logic
Five types of reasoning

8 Research, Reasoning, and Analysis
Reasoning and analysis
Information understood by where we find it
Information as it relates to other information
Information classified by the topic under investigation
Information as it relates to how we are using it
Direct and indirect sources

9 Planning and Creating Your Reasoning
The key analytical questions
Using the analytical structure for planning

10 Bringing It All Together: Narrative and Structure
Example text
Casting and notes on each paragraph
Capturing the essence of the text
Overall narrative flow of the text

Answers, Discussion, and Further Advice

Language: English
Format: PDF
Pages: 207
Size: 3.57 MB
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