This is because academic discourse is based according to key principles which are described as follows by Northedge (2005): Critical and analytical thinking should be applied at all points in academic study - to selecting information, reading, writing, speaking and listening.
Of these, learning to read and evaluate information critically is perhaps the most important skill, which if acquired can then be applied to other areas.
The essential traits of a critical thinker require an extended period of development. How can we help ourselves and our students to practice better thinking in everyday life? 3) Figure out the information you need and actively seek that information. Recognize explicitly your limitations as far as money, time, and power.
First, we must understand that there are stages required for development as a critical thinker: Stage One: The Unreflective Thinker (we are unaware of significant problems in our thinking) Stage Two: The Challenged Thinker (we become aware of problems in our thinking) Stage Three: The Beginning Thinker (we try to improve but without regular practice) Stage Four: The Practicing Thinker (we recognize the necessity of regular practice) Stage Five: The Advanced Thinker (we advance in accordance with our practice) Stage Six: The Master Thinker (skilled & insightful thinking become second nature to us) In this article, we will explain 9 strategies that any motivated person can use to develop as a thinker. 4) Carefully analyze and interpret the information you collect, drawing what reasonable inferences you can. 6) Evaluate your options, taking into account their advantages and disadvantages in the situation you are in.
However, listen out in yourself and other people for inconsistencies and contradictions; if you are in a seminar, notice how ideas are ‘developed’ through dialogue, how your ideas fit in or contradict with those of others, etc.
Be as prepared to ask questions as you are to listen, for example if someone offers a point of view about a particular author or text, don’t be afraid to challenge them to substantiate their claim.
As we explain the strategy, we will describe it as if we were talking directly to such a person. 7) Adopt a strategic approach to the problem and follow through on that strategy.
Further details to our descriptions may need to be added for those who know little about critical thinking. This may involve direct action or a carefully thought-through wait-and-see strategy. What would you do differently if you could re-live the situation? Choose one intellectual trait---intellectual perseverance, autonomy, empathy, courage, humility, etc.--- to strive for each month, focusing on how you can develop that trait in yourself.
Much has been written elsewhere on this site about the writing process, so we will only make brief reference here.
Planning is the key: if you organize your ideas carefully in your plan, you will be clearer what you have to write.