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07/29/2015

Becoming a Critical Thinker

With all the information available to us at our fingertips, it is ever more crucial that we think critically about what we hear, see, and read. It can be hard sometimes to distinguish between fact and hyperbole, so developing critical thinking skills is very important. Here are some tips for how to think critically when taking in information.

Question Everything

While you read, highlight the main ideas and premises. Ask yourself if you agree, and why or why not. Write your thoughts down in a journal to help you remember.

Object

Always try to think of counterarguments to what you read or hear, even if you agree. How would you argue the other side? Ask yourself if the writer or speaker makes invalid assumptions or puts forward illogical premises. Do not just believe what they say. Come up with reasons why they are wrong. Look for people who disagree and see what they say to help consider conflicting viewpoints.

Consider the Audience

Writers always have a target audience in mind when they put pen to paper, so ask yourself who the author hopes to influence. Consider why it is important to reach the group in question and what points the author makes to persuade them. Who benefits from accepting the author's argument?

Dig Deeper

When you think you have analyzed an argument from all possible angles, dig deeper. Look into ideas that may seem unimportant and ask questions you do not know the answers to. You will always be able to elaborate and find out more.

Use Logic

Know the difference between deductive and inductive reasoning. Deductive arguments start from the general and move to the specific, so the hypotheses can be tested in some way. Inductive moves from the specific to the general, making it harder to prove. Figure out the kind of reasoning the author uses and ask yourself if it is valid logically.

Doubt Yourself

Use these same techniques on your own thoughts. Why do you hold the opinions and beliefs that you have? Are they for valid reasons? Writing about them helps you figure out what you believe, why, and whether you are mistaken.

For Reading Help in Powder Springs, GA

If you are looking for help with reading, call The Tutoring Center in Powder Springs, GA at 770-222-7133. We have programs all year, including the summer, for help with reading, writing, math, and test preparation. Check out our academic programs and ask for a free diagnostic assessment.

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