We will write a custom Critical Writing on Critical Thinking and Its Improve Paper specifically for you
301 certified writers online
Critical thinking involves making a decision based on the identification and thorough evaluation of the available evidence (Ennis, 1996). A critical thinker makes his decisions based on broad and in-depth analysis of the evidence and thereafter communicates the beliefs accurately and clearly. Robert H. Ennis in his book “The Cornell Critical Thinking Tests” defines critical thinking as the ability to think reasonably and reflectively (Ennis, 1996). A critical thinker is open-minded, considers and explores as many possibilities as possible.
Critical thinking is sometimes contradictory and needs a lot of integrity. Critical thinkers do not take things at face value because the most accepted and common ideals are not usually right. Critical thinking allows someone to question his own ideas as they might be wrong (Ennis, 1996). Critical thinkers realize that the concept of right or wrong is transitory and what might have been right yesterday might be proved wrong the next time. Critical thinking argues that every idea might be right as long as it has strong evidence that supports it. Generally, most intellectuals argue that extremists cannot be critical thinkers because critical thinking does not insist on an idea being right.
Critical thinking has been of help to many disciplines including education and managerial communication (Makau, 1990). There are several processes that are involved in developing critical thinking skills. The first stage involves taking the information that you have read, heard, or seen. From the information, a person tries to understand it by taking the key arguments, points, assumptions, and the presented evidence. Based on the evidence and arguments, a critical thinker analyzes it by examining how the key components related to each other or fit (Ennis, 1996). After comparison, the ideas are synthesized through different sources of information brought together in building an idea or argument.
The different steps that could be used are categorized in the following chronological sequence and they form the main basis to be used in the critical thinking process:
- Process – Take in the information
- Understand – Comprehend the key points presented.
- Compare – a basic comparison of similarities between what is there and what you know.
- Synthesize – Make reasonable links linking the diverse basis that help you support your ideas (Cogan, 1998).
- The evaluation stage
- Apply – Its application and relevancy in the whole matter.
- Justify – Use critical thinking to build- up well-informed points of view, draw conclusions and identify implications. (Cogan, 1998)
Critical thinking is the most important form of thinking when it comes to decision-making and problem-solving. In managerial communication, critical thinking is vital in the sense that the managers have to be effective decision-makers (Cogan, 1998). Their decisions are should be imaginative and well reasoned. Applying the techniques of critical thinking allows them to solve complex problems (Ennis, 1996).
Critical thinking is also the logical method applied by normal people to the normal world. This is deemed to be a certainty since the act of critical thinking tries to duplicate the methods used for investigation which are:
- A question is identified,
- A theory formulated,
- Significant information sought and gathered,
- The plan logically tested and evaluated,
- Reliable conclusions are drawn from the outcome.
All of the skills of scientific research are matched by critical thinking, which is, therefore, nothing more than a methodical method used in everyday life rather than in specific scientific activities (Makau, 1990). A scientifically knowledgeable individual for example a mathematics lecturer has learned to think critically to reach that level of scientific alertness. Basic techniques of critical thinking could be used by any smart individual course who has attained a certain level of education which is a prerequisite to logical and critical thinking (Cogan, 1998). Critical thinking is also the method of applying articulate thinking to a subject. Cogan (1998) goes on to expound and explain that acquiring critical thinking skills helps an individual to develop experienced arguments and draw out the inferences that may be needed to use in his or her coursework and projects.
The idea’s worthiness is then evaluated based on how relevant it is to the thinker’s needs. The evidence is also evaluated based on its relation to other related ideas (Ennis, 1996). The final process in critical thinking involves the justification of the argument. The argument is developed; the conclusions are made and possible implications and inferences.
Ennis points out that during critical analysis, critical thinkers scrutinize tribulations, ask questions, create new answers, and find out new information that can be used for good or bad, question establishments and conventional values, and challenge-received doctrines (Ennis, 1996). Good scientists who conduct science must practice critical thinking. This is because it helps a person to be mindful and open-minded of alternatives. It helps a person to identify problems, make assumptions, reason well and identify conclusions. According to Ennis (1996), Critical thinking helps students in their doctorate studies because they help in their research projects and assignments.
When writing a research project critical thinking helps the student to identify an argument, evaluate credible sources, and be able to judge them (Makau, 1990). The students are able to judge the quality of the argument, evaluate the assumptions, accept the reasons and also analyze the evidence. Critical thinking helps doctorate students develop and defend reasonable positions well. Through critical thinking, students can create and plan for experiments well on top of formulating plausible hypotheses. It also helps in the definition of appropriate terms that match with the context and cautions students on the warranted conclusions (Makau, 1990).
Relevancy also plays a great role in that an individual who critically analyses a situation and properly gives back credible and reasonable assumptions and conclusions is therefore deemed to be a smart and appropriate critical thinker.
A good critical thinker in business management and doctorate studies should be able to gain evidence and use it impartially and skillfully. He should also organize ideas articulately and coherently. He should be able to distinguish between invalid and logically valid inferences and suspend any judgment that does not have sufficient evidence. A good critical thinker should differentiate between rationalizing and reasoning. Critical thinking allows someone to anticipate the probable consequences of an alternative argument. It helps individuals learn independently and most of all enables an individual to recognize the fallibility of their opinions, recognize their biases, and the danger involved in using personal preferences in weighing evidence (Makau, 1990).
Ennis, R. H. (1996). Critical thinking. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
Makau, J.M. (1990). Reasoning and communication: thinking critically about arguments. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Pub. Co.
Get your first paper with 15% OFF
Cogan, Robert (1998). Critical Thinking: Step by Step University Press of America, Washington DC