How to Improve Critical Thinking?
Academic writing needs a lot of organization. From coming up with concepts and ideas to putting it in words, there is a lot of process and guidelines that come into the picture. As a student, it can be a stressful process.
Academic writing can be effective only when you are good at critical thinking. No matter how good your thesis statement is or how exceptional your research is, if all the information is not glued together in a sequence then it wouldn’t matter.
What Is Critical Thinking?
When you can think clearly and structure your thoughts into clean writing that is critical thinking. If you have good research in place and supporting evidence to present it then critical thinking will help your readers to navigate through it easily. If the process is not critically analyzed then your audience will leave with mixed solutions or lost.
The whole purpose of an academic write-up is to impart knowledge and educate the readers. But if the purpose is not very clear or if the structure is not properly outlined then the user will be confused.
To understand what critical thinking is, answer a few questions:
- How good is your topic?
- Does your topic that substantial evidence?
- Do you have a side to choose while representing the topic (for or against)
- Can you deal with the complexity of the topic and make it easy for the readers to understand?
- Can you find in-depth information on the topic or will have surface information to provide?
- What is the motivation behind choosing a topic?
If you can answer these questions, you can think critically.
How To Implement Critical Thinking In Academic Writing?
Question your resources
For collecting literature and evidence you will have to go through Internet sources, databases, and peer-reviewed sites. But not all resources are relevant or credible. Thus, critical thinking suggests that you need to question the resources you will use in your writing.
- Analyze your method of research
'How you research' is as important as 'what you research'. Your approach towards finding the sources should be clear from the start. For this, you can always look up to your seniors or take help from professors. The way you conduct your research will impact the information you collect.
- Examine the evidence
Let’s say you have collected approximately 30-40 sources for writing one of your argumentative essays. Do you think it’s logical to use all? We don’t think so. You must examine all the evidence you have collected and go through with what supports your essay best.
- Avoid redundancy
Don’t repeat things in your academic work. Stating the same concept in different sentences or in different places of the same work. Good writing is precise, to-the-point, and simple. So as much as possible avoid redundancy.
- Avoid dumb downing the writing
Don’t try to simplify things that they need. Somethings are self-understood and don’t need much clarity. So think before you start explaining things that are already too simple to understand.
- List your goals and objectives
Before you start any academic writing (be it an essay, research paper, thesis, personal statement, etc.) don’t forget your goals. Make a list of all the objectives on which you need to work. This will keep your thought process clear throughout.
- Find your approach
Every student or scholar has a different approach to completing a task. If you have an idea or topic you need to plan and strategize before you bring it in front of your readers. You can make an outline beforehand and see if you have covered every single subtopic. You can’t simply add information here and there and expect readers to figure out on their own. Work in order or sequence and arrange your thoughts or ideas so that your audience can have a smooth experience.
- Break down information
This is the most important part of critical thinking. Imagine you have a big chunk of information. Do you think if you throw everything unorganized in front of your users they will understand anything at all? Certainly not! You need to break it down into subparts and put it one by one in front of your audience so that they don’t have to guess it throughout.
Not implementing critical thinking can lead to poor writing. So don’t consider it as extra work. It is very much part of academic writing. Weak summary, poor order, redundant text, repetitive arguments, etc. are a clear indicator of low quality academic writing. Thus, you must either learn to think and execute critically or hire professionals to do it for you.
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