Unformatted text preview: Critical Thinking CRITICAL THINKING IS NOT YOUR OPINION ”Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.”
John F. Kennedy, President The heart of critical thinking is to view multiple facts from multiple sources showing multiple perspectives, and
come to your own educated outlook on an issue. Learning to be a scholar teaches you that having an attitude of
”I am right and ’gbgz’ are wrong” is never the best way to analyze anything. Instead, think about WHY someone
might have certain beliefs—be curious, AND question your own viewpoint. None of us is totally without bias, and
all of us have limited knowledge and experience. If you acknowledge this, you have a much better chance of
seeing more aspects of a topic. This is what makes a good scholar— the willingness to be curious and consider multiple viewpoints! Before you ever write the words... ”they should do this, or they shouldn’t do that” make sure you truly
understand who ”they” are. Some students blame the government or corporations for societal problems, but as a
critical thinker we have to look at the groups WE: belong to, and our own personal responsibility, too. Example: Pollution is a huge societal problem and it is easy for us to criticize our government for not enforcing regulations, or for corporations using massive amounts of natural resourcs (all of which is true), BUT... many of us drive gas-guzzling oars, drink water
from plastic bottles, and buy the latest iPhones that create a huge amount of e-waste and pollution to manufacture and dispose of. A SCHOLAR CREATES KNOWLEDGE FROM INFORMATION Information includes facts — quotes — statistics — expert opinion — studies — surveys — stories, etc. As a scholar you are interpreting what all of this data - put together - means. Example: Who are the people most impacted by this issue? Are they African-Americans? Latinos? Asians?
Caucasians? Are they rich or poor? Are they under-educated? Identify the WHO and also think
about who lS NOT affected... and think about some reasons why THEY are not affected?
lf corporations are involved, what do they stand to gain? Why might this be important? Why is this issue an important one? What is the short term problem? Long term problem? What is the context of the issue? How did the time era affect what happened? Global location? ANOTHER THING TO CONSIDER WHEN THINKING CRITICALLY Evaluate the quality of the material you are reading, and the author’s qualifications: - Were the facts/statistics/quotations used in the article from legitimate sources? Are they current? - Is the author qualified to write about this issue? How can you investigate his/her qualifications? - Are very small studies used as evidence? 45 people in a study is not as compelling as 450 people in a study. Malatesta — WTR 17lour 2 0055 Workbook Section II - Writing Helps ...
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- Winter '08
- John F. Kennedy, Thought