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Critical thinking

What is critical thinking?

Critical thinking skills are important for engaging with academic literature and informing your own writing.

Here we'll take a look at blocks to your own critical thinking, and how to evaluate your own critical skills...

Blocks to critical thinking

Certain habits or approaches we have to life can hold us back from really thinking objectively about issues. We may not realise it, but often we're our own worst enemies when it comes to being critical...

Select a student to reveal the statement they've made.

Student 1

All these books and articles have been written by experts:
people with PhDs... doctorates... respected people.
How can I question what they have written?


From the choices below, identify which block to critical thinking might be limiting their performance.

Student 2

The topic I am researching is so big!
There is just so much to read and then think about.
Where do I start?


From the choices below, identify which block to critical thinking might be limiting their performance.

Student 3

I'm not sure which opinion or argument is the right one.
Where do I find the right answers?


From the choices below, identify which block to critical thinking might be limiting their performance.

Student 4

Isn’t just gathering together what has been said about this issue enough?
I don’t have time for all this thinking and then reading and then thinking and then reading some more and then thinking and then writing!


From the choices below, identify which block to critical thinking might be limiting their performance.

Student 5

I've read a lot of articles but I'm not sure I have enough material yet.
What if I've missed something?


From the choices below, identify which block to critical thinking might be limiting their performance.

Student 6

I’ll do all the critical stuff at the end when I am writing.
Doing it later will be ok, right?


From the choices below, identify which block to critical thinking might be limiting their performance.


Student 1
Student 2
Student 3
Student 4
Student 5
Student 6

Making sense of academic sources

Academic literature takes many forms. What constitute scholarly sources of information, and how do we choose between them? In this, the first of our "Let's get critical" critical reading theme, we get to grips with the principles of evaluating information and work out how to determine their suitability.