How can I improve my critical thinking skills?

Question:

How can I improve my critical thinking skills?

Answer:

Critical thinking, with regards to university study, means evaluating whether a claim is true or an argument is valid and convincing, as well as formulating and evaluating good arguments of our own.

 

Like every other skill, the best way to improve is to practice. Every time you do a reading, every time you listen to a lecture, every time you sit down to write an assignment, put your critical thinking hat on and start asking questions about what you’re reading or hearing. Examples of such questions could include: 

 

    •    What is it that this person is trying to convince me of?

    •    What reasons or evidence have they used?

    •    How credible is that evidence?

    •    Does their argument make sense?

    •    What are the strengths and weaknesses of their argument?

    •    Can I think of any alternative theories, explanations or solutions to what has already been proposed?

 

Visit the skills development webpage to see the full range of resources on critical thinking and writing critically, including workshops and online resources for both undergraduate and postgraduate students. You can also come to the Info Desk in the Library between 12-2 pm on any weekday (Weeks 3-13) to ask questions about any aspects of your learning, or Ask a Learning Adviser your question using our online form.