Academic Writing and Critical Thinking

Reasoning is quite important aspect of human development. Therefore, it has to be the main aim of all teachers and professors no matter what discipline they teach. Instructors and professors have to remember to build skills of critical thinking in all syllabus plans and rubrics they apply during their classes.

Such skills can be taught with the usage of creativity nearly in every single class. Familiarize yourself with the following steps to enhance students’ ability to think critically.

  1. Insightful analysis – Try to find something that are seen by students frequently and taken them by granted; your task lies in making them analyze it. For instance, if your students tell the pledge of allegiance every day, encourage them to spend some time forming answers regarding what it may mean and why we do it.
  2. Making compare and contrast procedure – Give students the assignment to make some comparisons of similar items to teach them to comprehend the difference. Making use of the flag as one example, help them to make explanation concerning the elements the U.S.A. flag and the UK flag. Such example of critical thinking will be useful for them.
  3. Pending questions – Persuade students to answer difficult questions without possible choices. Such method will allow them finding their own answer, which not affected by any other point of view.
  4. Evaluation process – Offer a certain concept and invite students to gauge its quality, telling supportive facts why they think it really is bad or good. It makes students to elaborate their personal way of thinking without a backward glance at someone else’s point of view or specified rules. The given process could even be experienced in a group in case students feel difficulties when being engaged in it on their own.
  5. Synthesis exercise – Give students a few articles and make them to sum them up. Such approach will make them think and analyze what they read instead of simple memory retention.
  6. Critique procedure – provide students with a paper to argue for a certain stance and make them indicate weak sides of the argument. Assure yourself that it is the concept they are able to comprehend properly.
  7. Paraphrase procedure – offer students to take an article and ask them to tell its content in their own words. The given assignment has some similar characteristics with synthesis and it makes students to comprehend better.
  8. Debate procedure – offer students critical thinking topics (something not too controversial for a start) and ask one group to make debates concerning one argument of the topic and the other group should debate the opposite one. Assure yourself that there are some set guidelines and rules in order to get rid of a simple fight during the class.
  9. Use – provide students with a worksheet, which contains instructions on how to accomplish the given assignment, and after that ask them demonstrate the given knowledge by means of accomplishing the assignment. Do not forget to assure yourself that all instructions are clear to be comprehended properly when dealing with critical thinking paper.
  10. Comparison of higher order – Ask students to finish the task, which is similar to “compare and contrast one”, but make them evaluate which concept is better and exactly why it is so. Such assignment gives possibility to students to analyze possible reasons why one thing is much better and the higher-order rules, which determine its superiority.

The above-mentioned steps of critical thinking development may be used during any class for nearly all subjects. When the whole process is applied in a correct way, it may result in a higher level of critical reasoning.

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