Did you ever think how writing an essay would be without critical thinking?
It would be highly illogical.
That’s because critical thinking allows you to dig deeper into a subject to discover and articulate its nuances. It is a fundamental skill that helps solve problems, analyze information vital for writing, and make sound judgments.
Critical thinking essentially is the ability to think clearly and rationally about what to do or believe.
It involves carefully analyzing, processing, and interpreting information. These skills can help solve any problem, subject, or question. Furthermore, it involves closely monitoring your thoughts, paying attention to their sources and how they relate to each other.
In simple words, these are the ingredients that help compose a great essay.
Developing these skills is essential for activities such as writing. However, most people don’t have the time to fully develop these skills and work on their writing abilities because of deadlines. Such people can avail themselves of essay help services that provide well-constructed papers.
Nonetheless, one can employ and perfect their critical thinking skills with practice.
Here are some easy critical thinking strategies to help you perfect the skill.
5 Ways to improve critical thinking skills
Now that you are aware of what critical thinking is, let us tell you that the ability to think critically is not innate. The skill is easier to acquire for some people while others find it challenging; however, anyone can cultivate them. It means that if you want to become a good critical thinker, you need to practice critical thinking.
Given below are five ways that’ll assist you in practicing critical thinking:
1. Start questioning: The best critical thinkers are fundamentally strong. They don’t ask complicated questions when solving a problem; instead, they get to the basics. If you want to strengthen your critical thinking, start with basic questions.
Make sure you break down questions to improve your problem-solving skills (and thus enhance your critical thinking abilities).
The following are some vital basic questions you can ask any time you face a challenge in writing:
- What is your existing knowledge of the situation/problem?
- How do you know?
- What are you trying to demonstrate, prove, critique, disprove, etc.?
- Are you overlooking anything?
This type of question encourages you to cut through the clutter of a problem and find simple solutions first instead of assuming complexity. Please remember that critical thinking is essential from both a cognitive and an interpersonal standpoint when framing questions.
2. Understand your mental process: One significant trait of skilled thinkers is self -reflection. That is, one must be aware of their mental process in detail; where did it start, how did you reach this point, what made you reach this point, and so on.
While human thought is astounding, our brains can sort information at an amazing speed. However, its speed and automation can hinder critical thinking.
We humans use heuristics (mental shortcuts) to explain what’s happening in our environment. And yield reliable results in many instances. But, in other cases, they lead towards biases.
Regardless of how intelligent and thoughtful you are, you have to understand that you are biased, and you must learn to be aware of those biases if you want to become a critical thinker.
Start asking yourself why and what you are assuming, and check for any stereotypes in your thoughts. Determining your own biases is the first step to rewriting these parts of your thinking (even the best critical thinker will not be completely free from bias).
3. Adapt your perspective: As noted above, acknowledging your own biases can be extremely helpful to critical thinking. However, it’s only the first step towards changing your perspective.
The next practical thing you can do is read the literature about biases and how they work. For example, in the field of Cover letter studies, researchers show how identical Cover letters can get different evaluations based on whether the name placed on top is male or female, foreign or familiar, etc.
Even reading about these biases and heuristics can help you adjust your perspective. Another way is to expose your mind to alternative ways of thinking intentionally. Therefore, make sure you read a little more comprehensively than your favorite sources.
Check out books written by people who are not from your culture. Conduct empathy exercises in which you put yourself in the shoes of a stranger.
4. Try reverse thinking: Reverse thinking is another fascinating and effective technique when solving a complex problem.
Basically, you need to flip what you think you know on its head. Therefore, if you think it’s pretty apparent that A caused B, ask yourself, “But what if B caused A?”. This is the structure of the famous chicken and egg argument.
At first glance, it seems evident that the chicken must come first. After all, it lays eggs. However, once you realize the chicken must have come from somewhere, you realize that the egg came first since chickens come from eggs. Or did they?
Reversing your thinking won’t always lead to an immediate solution. However, it forces you to rethink how you perceive the problem, which is often all you need to start down the right road.
5. Develop foresight: Good foresight is an asset in any endeavor you undertake. Making the right decision will be easier if you can already see the consequences in the future.
One way to develop good foresight capabilities is by taking time to consider all aspects of a potential decision before committing to it.
For example, when choosing a topic for an oration competition, don’t choose a topic at random or select a topic you like on a whim. Instead, ask yourself the following questions:
- What impression does this topic make on your audience?
- How many competitors do you have?
- Will it be easy to talk about this topic?
- Is there enough information available on this topic?
- Is this topic controversial?
Creating a pro and con list is another excellent way to boost your foresight, making you better at predicting results. As you do this more and more, you will need less effort each time to make your predictions.
These are the five critical thinking strategies that you can easily practice to help you develop critical thinking. Irrespective of where you are on the road to becoming a critical thinker, you can constantly improve your skills. In this way, you will develop balanced arguments, express yourself clearly, read critically, and absorb important information more efficiently.
Critical thinking skills will help you beyond the classroom. It can help you in any profession or any circumstance of life, from science to art to business to teaching. These skills will help you craft a perfect essay. You don’t have to overthink how to perfect these skills. Just start with one strategy at a time, and you will be a critical thinker for life with practice.