Today while I was at work reading a handbook on Communication Skills, I came across the topic of critical thinking. I've never really thought much about the way I think, so it was a really interesting read.
The handbook presented the eight critical thinking skills as:
Here is an interesting paragraph on what exactly a critical thinker is, according to this text that is based on the California Critical Thinking Test.
'A critical thinker needs to be truth-seeking, open-minded, analytical, systematic, self-confident, inquisitive and mature. They use deductive reasoning to decide on the truth of a statement. They try hard to find evidence that contradicts a currently held position.'
Sometimes I catch myself making assumptions that really don't have any factual backing, and it forces to me examine what I'm basing my thoughts on. I've realised just how important critical thinking is in day to day life, especially in the workplace. We don't often realise that we've got all these pre-determined thoughts running through our mind, that have never been examined for truth backed evidence.
According to Sydney University, by developing critical thinking skills you are better able to evaluate, challenge and change structures in society. They have some fantastic reasons for developing critical thinking in your writing, a skill that is highly necessary at university and in the workplace.
The Foundation for Critical Thinking has some excellent resources on improving your critical thinking abilities, if you're interested in checking it out. Here's a great article written by a college student on 7 Ways to Improve Your Critical Thinking.
I think I'm going to spend a bit more time developing my critical thinking skills, hopefully it will help my writing abilities improve.