Crtical Thinking

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Some Guidelines for
Critical Thinking and Writing:
analysis-contexts-discussion-conclusions

Critical thinking is a lot more than merely following a format for construing a paper, "challenging assumptions," and observing "different perspectives," to name a couple of biggies. It is still all a matter of what and how - the important, elusive dimensions rooted in values and abilities. You could for instance follow the pattern below and still praise some proto-Nazi perspective.

The following six parts may be viewed as a rough outline for a research paper. They also constitute the six dimensions that must find expression in any substantial, critical development of analysis and opinion. Not just for research papers - these six dimensions of critical thinking and writing should also be applied when writing a shorter review or contemplative essay.

Shorter texts also need structure, progression, and focus, all of which the six dimensions will assist in establishing. I encourage you to apply these dimensions to any writing assignment in my classes, from the very first one early on in the semester to the final assignment; whether a grand research paper, a review, or an essay.

Your work with the material (a novel, a scholarly text, a philosophical treatise, a poem, a film, a saga, or an idea - or two or more of the above) is at the very heart of class, and will, when pursued conscientiously, transform itself from lesser to greater confidence and ability.

It is therefore important that from the outset, with every writing assignment, you consider the implemention of each of these dimensions of critical thinking. Then, with every assignment, you will familiarize yourself with their dynamic, strengthen your communicative abilities, and make your contribution to critical thinking and writing.

I Identify the basics of the topic
This is the introduction to your paper. Present the importance of the issue, outline context and potential ramifications. End...
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