2 What Is The Purpose of this Session? To demonstrate the difference between description and analysis.To examine the dangers of making assumptions, and the need to use research and references to support an argument.To give an awareness of the critical thinking skills needed for post and undergraduate level academic work.
4 Now…. Analyse the Object! What don’t you know about it?Ask Questions!
5 AssumptionsIn critical thinking, an assumption refers to anything that is taken for granted in the presentation of an argument.When the author invites the audience to accept something as true rather than proving it.
6 How many assumptions can you find in the following statement? “Family barbecues in the summer are relaxing and provide enjoyment for all the family. This year, many families will have their summer fun ruined by the English weather.”
7 Checking the assumptions Assumption 1: Family gatherings are for relaxation and enjoyment. Some people would find such gatherings extremely stressful due to family conflict.Assumption 2: Families would choose a barbecue to meet with other members over other options such as a meal in a restaurant.Assumption 3: That family barbecues only take place in the summer.Assumption 4: That the weather will ruin a barbecue.Assumption 5: That the audience will understand words such as ‘barbecue’, ‘relaxing, ‘enjoyment’, ‘ruined’, ‘English weather’ and that these do not need to be defined.
8 Intellectual Standards ClarityCould you elaborate further?AccuracyHow could you check on that?PrecisionCould you be more specific?RelevanceHow does that relate to the problem?DepthWhat factors make this a difficult problem?BreadthDo we need to look at this from another perspective?LogicDoes all this make sense together?SignificanceIs this the most important problem to consider?FairnessDo I have any vested interest in this issue?Adapted from Paul and Elder (2006, p. 14)
9 So what’s needed?Core Critical Thinking Skills(Facione, 2013, p.5)
10 REMEMBER!! Analysis is part of your everyday life! We all use analytical skills naturallyIf you need to develop this skill – contact the Learning Quality Support Unit to make an appointment.There are several books in the library and useful sources online which can help you develop your critical thinking skills.
11 Bringing it all together Show off your critical thinking and analysis skillsDeveloping a line of argumentDevelop your own style
12 Conclusion Description should be kept to a minimum Avoid making assumptions and recognise when assumptions are being made in academic research.Develop your awareness of and ability to use the intellectual standards which form the basis of critical thinking and analysis.
13 ReferencesFacione, P. A. (2013). Critical Thinking: What It is and Why it Counts. Retrieved fromPaul, R. & Elder, L. (2006). The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking Concepts and Tools. Retrieved from