Critical Thinking S For University Students

The assignment required the student to visit a museum exhibition and then critically discuss it.

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In everyday language, criticise has a negative meaning-pointing out weaknesses or finding fault.

However, not all criticism is negative in an academic context.

This guide introduces the idea of critical thinking for university study.

Essays, reports, presentations and position papers all require you to show that you not only have researched and understood the topic, but that you have thought deeply about it and can express your thinking in appropriate ways.

Before you start a course or an assignment, consider these questions: Working out what you do not know is also an important part of critical thinking.

You may not yet be an expert on the topic, but you will have unique perspectives and experiences to contribute to the research conversation.In fact, all disciplines of study-such as economics, arts, education, engineering, medicine, science or law-are constantly under review in academic journals, laboratories and faculties.Researchers discuss each other's work and build on it to develop new insights in their fields.Critiques usually include strengths as well as limitations. For more on understanding the task see - Answering assignment questions.This is a positive activity that updates and builds knowledge. Look at the title, abstract, summary, introduction, and conclusion of your readings to decide whether you need to read all of the text, only some of it, or whether you can skip it altogether.This process of research, evaluation, reflection and feedback is like a conversation, and your university courses are an opportunity for you to join in.You will not only gain knowledge but will also create knowledge.For example, you may be expected to learn the names and properties of chemical elements (knowledge), understand why some react with others (understanding) and conduct experiments (application).At these levels, memory and comprehension are necessary, and remain so at university. Markers often write comments on assignments which only communicate these lower levels of thinking, such as; "this is just description", "analyse this in more detail", or "you haven't understood the issues".When you read in your discipline or listen to a lecture, ask yourself: Critical thinking is a skill, so develop the following habits to help develop your critical thinking skills: What are the lecturers' expectations of their students? For more on critical reading strategies see - Effective reading. Always note the source of the text: by whom, where and when it was published.Write down any questions you have, or possible problems with the writer's ideas.

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