Writing essays is an essential part of a student’s life that requires plenty of time and effort. However, numerous surveys reveal that many graduates claim writing papers to be a tiresome activity. No matter how they try, they don’t receive satisfying grades. The reason, experts say, hides in a lack of critical thinking skills that causes an incomplete approach to a specific topic.
As a result, students reach out to get help on EssayShark because they are not taught how to advance their critical thinking. Therefore, not only is this article useful for students, but also for everyone who wants to delve into a more in-depth analysis when it comes to writing.
Read More and Ask Questions
It may sound trivial, but the next time you take a book and read it, try to ask yourself some of the following questions:
- How does the author present their ideas?
- What are the primary and secondary arguments that the author is making?
- How are the ideas connected?
- What pieces of evidence does the writer use?
Asking the aforementioned questions will give you a point to start comprehending the way other people think. Furthermore, it will help you to delve into the topic you are writing about and, as a result, you will start asking more questions.
However, the explanation of your questions might become extremely complicated, causing the initial question to get lost. In order to avoid this, continuously go back to the basic ones you asked that are the foundation of solving the problem. What is more, before you start doing research, ask yourself what you already know about the topic: how do you know that, and what are you trying to prove, debunk, demonstrate, and so forth?
Be Aware of Your Evaluation
The way people think is astounding. However, there are many circumstances that make a person sound subjective. And aiming for robust critical thinking, you must avoid subjectivity, which means that there is a multitude of commonly held perceptions, fallacies, and prejudices you have to shun.
“Somebody said,” “I heard,” and other such constructions won’t work. You have to rely on scholarly sources to prove or disprove a point. You need to select sources, read the points you want to get familiarized with, compare, jot down what you have read, and at the end, review your notes. No one is perfect, and you will have to deal with various cognitive biases in order to give a precise and unprecedented evaluation and solution.
Assess Current Pieces of Evidence
By the same token, when you try to solve a problem or find answers to a specific question, it’s always beneficial to acknowledge other works that have been done in the same field. It will help you to avoid making the wrong conclusions because, as you may know, one argument doesn’t prove or disprove anything. That being said, you have to possess two arguments to establish facts.
Secondly, you have to ask the following questions for any proof:
- Who gathered proofs?
- How, and why?
Pay close attention to the publisher and the writer; the more credits they have, the more reliable the source is. Other than that, the questions we listed prepare you to think critically and conduct research of the source in question – for instance, in a study showing the benefits of vapes.
On paper, the research sounds compelling. However, it wasn’t empirically identified, and conversely, it is a cause of deaths. Moreover, vape companies funded it. Overall, you can’t instantly assume that these facts nullify the study’s results, but you definitely have to question them because there may be an apparent conflict of interest.
Think for Yourself
Even though you are obliged to analyze academic sources, test their credibility, and evaluate other people’s thoughts, you can’t stop thinking yourself. Besides the abundance of sources you have to examine, it’s elementary to get stuck or lost in others’ works and forget to have your own thoughts. At the beginning, write down your thoughts regarding the exact topic. It is vital to answering tough questions. But don’t be overconfident. If you find credible sources with arguments similar to your opinion, you can develop the author’s thoughts.
What You Need to Know to Develop Critical Writing Skills
1. You should write regularly
This makes it possible to fix emerging ideas, think them over, and formulate new thoughts, and it also helps to overcome the psychological barrier when performing a written assignment.
2. Try to write on topics interesting to you.
Interesting topics are those that we choose ourselves because we are fond of them. Of course, they should arouse curiosity and motivation of cognitive activity.
3. Find samples
These are texts created by other, more experienced writers. Samples created by others can serve as a model for authors to write for themselves. Learning to write is better with examples.
4. Take into account the readership
Writing a paper helps us to share thoughts, experiences, and ideas that we might never have been able to convey in other ways. Therefore, it is necessary for the writer creating the text to focus on a specific readership in order to attract the audience. At the same time, everyone wants to be heard, understood, and to hear a response to his or her creation.
5. To deal with critical thinking in writing, you need to stick to the following plan:
- Your position
- Brief rationale
- Possible objections
- Evidence proving your position
6. Always proofread and edit.
According to experienced authors, “writing is rewriting.” A draft text is a formless verbal mass with which you need to shape through revisions. It is not easy to acquire such a habit, but only through your effort can you achieve success. At the editing stage, whole paragraphs or even pages can be deleted or added, as you need to prepare the text for submission. Editing skills consist of three points:
- Taking care that the work is correct.
- The ability to see errors.
- The ability to correct mistakes.
The Bottom Line
In the final analysis, it would be reasonable to mention that the methods, as demonstrated earlier, drastically improve critical thinking when it comes to writing. Analyzing thoughts, examining the credibility of the sources, and asking crucial questions are the fundamental aspects that play a significant role in determining the difference between being objective or subjective.
What is more, reading is also considered to be an important aspect because it allows the writer to look at different matters from a bulk of angles, scrutinizing, calculating, and making decisions concerning the validity of the presented viewpoints.