Monday, February 23, 2009

Lecture 7: Critical Thinking and Essay Preparation

What is critical thinking?

“Reasonable reflective thinking that is focused on deciding what to believe or do”
-- Robert Ennis

“Active, presistent and careful consideration of any belief or supposed form of knowledge in the light of the grounds that support it and the further conclusion to which it tends”
-- JohnDewey

What is reflective thinking?

“Judgment suspended during further inquiry”
-- Dewey

Think of the scientific method as a way of organising your argument in your essay:

  • Definition of the problem
  • Proposal of the hypothesis/hypotheses
  • Observation
  • Measurement
  • Qualitative/Quantitative Analysis
  • Testing
  • Interpretation

An "ideal" critical thinker should employ these attributes:

  • Inquisitive
  • Open-minded
  • Orderly
  • Focused
  • Persistent
  • Devise testing strategies
  • Formulates alternative solutions/hypotheses
  • Judges acceptability of premises and inferences
  • Draws conclusions

Classic way *not* to structure your essay:


All X are Y. Z is X.
Therefore, Z is Y.


All X are Y. No Z is Y.
Therefore, no Z is X.

For next week: critically evaluate three websites/online resources that fit with feminist theory and digital cultures. Title your blog post: Lecture 7, Critical Thinking, Name.

Coursework Essay DUE DATE: 7th May, 4:00pm


char said...

this is a great and useful post~ I am sharing it via my e-mail newsletter now :-)

Jess said...

Glad the post was of use Char.

Thanks for commenting.

Emily said...

Thanks Jess. Another super pedagogical post. I'll be using this in my critical literacy grad course.

mew said...

bestessays is a nice site that you want to visit. because it gives you information about how to make a good essay for you paper.

Al Gorgon said...

Thanks for the information. This is a wonderful post!!
affordable essay | admission essays service | thesis

Tracy Manners said...

Critical thinking is necessary not only to write an essay so thanks for the lecture - it's very informing. thesis writing service

website design india said...

Excellent job done and nice informative blog posted.

Test Automation said...

Your blog is absolutely fantastic. Good work.Regards.

Hearing Testing said...

Thank you for this great blog! Really enjoying every little bit of it.

Stacy said...

Your blog is really very informational. Thanks ... it helps a lot.Regards.

Stacy said...

Well, good information on your blog. This blog is really useful for everyone. I must appreciate your work here guys. Keep posting good blogs. Thanks

Great site,

Web Hosting Bangalore said...

This is really interesting; you are a very skilled blogger. I continuously look for these kinds of blogs which give lot of information.