Presentation on theme: "Demonstrating Critical Thinking in Writing Assignments"— Presentation transcript:
1 Demonstrating Critical Thinking in Writing Assignments Amy Kubista, MALSWalden University Writing Center
2 Webinar ResourcesThis webinar will be recorded. The link to the recording will be sent to you in a follow-up .The PowerPoint slides and recording will also be available on the Writing Center website on the webinar archive page at
3 Ask Questions!Please ask questions throughout the presentation. You should see a Question panel on your menu on your screen.I will address questions at the end of the presentation, and I will try to answer as many as possible.
4 Ask Questions!If your question does not get answered, or you think of one after the webinar, please send it directly to me at
5 Ask Questions!You can always send any writing questions you have to the Writing Center staff. We have a 24 hour turnaround.
6 Objectives Define critical thinking Explore why critical thinking is important to you, as a scholarDiscuss how to incorporate critical thinking into your writing
7 Define Critical Thinking “Critical thinking refers to reasonable, reflective thinking that is focused on deciding what to believe or do. Critical thinkers try to be aware of their own biases, to be objective and logical”
8 Define Critical Thinking “. . .self-directed, self-disciplined, self-monitored, and self-corrective thinking. It requires rigorous standards of excellence and mindful command of their use. It entails effective communication and problem solving abilities and a commitment to overcoming our native egocentrism and sociocentrism.”
9 Define Critical Thinking “the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action. In its exemplary form, it is based on universal intellectual values that transcend subject matter divisions: clarity, accuracy, precision, consistency, relevance, sound evidence, good reasons, depth, breadth, and fairness.”
10 Define Critical Thinking Are we clear now on what critical thinking is? No? Let’s look at some of these key words again.
12 Define Critical Thinking Kurland (2000) noted that critical reading is about discovering information whereas critical thinking is about evaluating it.
13 Define Critical Thinking According to Kurland (2000), there are six key characteristics of critical thinking.Let’s take a look at these to get a better grasp of what it means to think critically.
14 Define Critical Thinking Rationality has to do with exercising good judgment based on logic.
15 Define Critical Thinking Self-awareness has to do with knowing one’s individuality, biases, and so forth.
16 Define Critical Thinking Honesty has to do with integrity and being able to be truthful about one’s biases.
17 Define Critical Thinking Open-mindedness is about being able to appreciate differing viewpoints.
18 Define Critical Thinking Discipline is about being self-controlled and being objective.
19 Define Critical Thinking Judgment is about being able to form an opinion about something based on the information presented.
20 Define Critical Thinking From this plethora of information, I want you to understand that thinking critically is an active process. It is not reading information and regurgitating it on the page. It is interacting with the information.
21 Importance of Critical Thinking So why is critical thinking important?“Critical thinking skills give students the ability to not only understand what they have read or been shown but also to build upon that knowledge without incremental guidance. Critical thinking teaches students that knowledge is fluid and builds upon itself. It is not simply rote memorization or the ability to absorb lessons unquestioningly.”(The Critical Thinking Co. Staff, 2005, para. 3)
22 Importance of Critical Thinking “Critical thinking products and courses encourage students to think for themselves, to question hypotheses, to develop alternative hypotheses, and to test those hypotheses against known facts. None of this is to say that memorizing facts is necessarily bad. It means only that when rote memorization takes precedence over problem solving, logic, and reason, students suffer.”(The Critical Thinking Co. Staff, 2005, para. 4)
23 Importance of Critical Thinking Critical thinking is a skill. The skill is learning to use the knowledge you gain from your reading and program. It will help you to use this knowledge to go out and make a difference in the world.
24 Importance of Critical Thinking It is important for you to demonstrate to your instructor, your peers, and your academic community that you are able to not only learn information but to use it to create new research/ideas/hypotheses and so on to contribute to your field.
25 Incorporating Critical Thinking If critical thinking is so important, then how do we incorporate it into our writing and assignments? Good question!
26 Incorporating Critical Thinking Remember book reports in middle school?The point was for you to write about the content of the book, basically as a way to prove to your teacher that you read the book and that you understood the story.This is not critical thinking.
27 Incorporating Critical Thinking Think of the penguin.
28 Incorporating Critical Thinking The penguin feeds its young by eating a fish and regurgitating it so the baby penguin can eat it. It is the same fish, just partially digested.
29 Incorporating Critical Thinking Don’t be a penguin. Instead of regurgitating the fish, play around with it and create something new and exciting.
30 Incorporating Critical Thinking In other words, do not just repeat what you have read or learned. Take that information and use it to create something new: new perspectives, new ideas, new theories, new hypotheses, etc.
31 Incorporating Critical Thinking “Ask more questions instead of giving an answer right away. This can help to stimulate critical thinking because you are digging further into a problem.” (Richardson, 2011, para. 2)
32 Incorporating Critical Thinking “Look beyond the words on a piece of paper. When using critical thinking, it is important to read between the lines. Just because the answer is not spelled out in the text, there may be clues to lead you to certain assumptions about a person's motive or thought process.” (Richardson, 2011, para. 3)
33 Incorporating Critical Thinking “Work with groups when solving a problem.Getting another person's perspective can help you brainstorm creative ideas.”(Richardson, 2011, para. 4)
34 Incorporating Critical Thinking “Think outside the box when solving a problem.Come up with the most absurd solutions you can think of, and then pare back. Critical thinking involves a creative thought process that looks at all possibilities.”(Richardson, 2011, para. 5)
35 Incorporating Critical Thinking “Look back on your experiences and think of how you dealt with them.A critical thinker is reflective and can find what methods worked and which did not. For example, if you did well on a test that you studied hard for, then you know studying hard will help in the future.”(Richardson, 2011, para. 6)
36 Incorporating Critical Thinking There are so many resources out there to help you think critically! There are articles upon articles that address the importance of critical thinking as well as how to develop the skill of critical thinking.
37 Critical ThinkingI recently came across this article that discusses the importance of nurses thinking critically (and it has nothing to do with writing papers or doing assignments):
38 Critical ThinkingCritical thinking is going to be important to you as a student as well as a person. Remember that critical thinking is an active process and a skill. It is not easy, but it is important.
39 Conclusion During our time together, we Defined critical thinking Explored its importanceDiscussed how to incorporate it into writing assignments.
40 What should you take away from this webinar? Don’t be a penguin. ConclusionWhat should you take away from this webinar? Don’t be a penguin.