Imagine going to your favorite store where you know where everything in the store is and now they have changed the floor plan OR your go to your favorite eating place for your usual meal and the menu has been rearranged and it was difficult to find your usual meal. I had the same experience reading this guide.
I consider myself one who applies the most effective methods of study skills (Rowntree) based on my level of reading skills (Alder). I learned I need to be more aggressive in my communication with others when discussing subjects I have little to no knowledge of (Bayard). After reading these books, I was at a level of great confidence to now learn that I may be a level 2 Thinker, (Paul and Elder, location 80) which is not a good place to be.
Critical thinking is the art of analyzing and evaluating, thinking with a view to improving it per the authors’ definition. (Paul and Elder, location 25) Critical thinkers are clear in identifying the purpose, asking questions, and applying speaking and listening skills to what they are reading. (Paul and Elder, location 1) To be considered a critical thinker, you must have traits of integrity as well as empathy in your thinking as you analyze the story. (Paul and Elder, location 153)
In viewing this miniature guide searching for affirmation of my effective skills, I was challenged to find it. I was offered an opportunity to improve my level of thinking through various points: Elements of Thinking, Stages of Thinking, Criteria for Evaluating Reasoning, Intellectual traits or virtues, so on and so on. Each of these points had a list. I must admit that I was intrigued by The Criteria for Evaluating Reasoning which addressed the ideas of purpose, questioning, concepts, assumptions, inferences, a point of view, and implications. (Paul and Elder, location 153) It parallels with the points listed under Analyzing and Assessing Research: purpose, questions, information, inference, a point of view, assumptions, concept, and implications. (Paul and Elder, location 218-219) Information is the only point not included in both. Viewing the points under analyzing research, similar to evaluating reasoning, reflects the qualities of an effective research paper. My take away from this guide is: When you researched in the preparation of a research paper, you need to review it with a critical thinker’s eye. A writer gathers the information from your research documents that will be presented in the paper. To determine whether it is included in the paper, we need to analyze how it addresses the other seven points.
A template for analyzing the logic of an article is a reflection of questions that the author suggests one use when reading. (Paul and Elder, location 129-143) The questions in the template utilize the same eight points presented as points to Analyzing and Assessing Research. After analyzing what I have read, I suggest that the template also should be used when preparing our research paper. It will assist in the preparation of a research paper effectively that will address the analysis of critical thinkers.
Authors: Paul and Elder
The picture above is “The Thinker Statues Sculpture Brainstorm Magnificent.” https://www.popscreen.com/prod/MTI3OTYwOTQ5/Sculpture-The-Thinker-Spadem-FFR-by-Alva-Studio
Adler, Mortimer Jerome, and Chares Lincoln Doren. How to Read a Book. New York, NY: Touchstone, 2011.
Bayard, Pierre. How to Talk About Books You Haven’t Read. New York, NY: Bloomsbury USA, 2010.
Rowntree, Derek. Learn How to Study: Developing the Study Skills and Approaches to Learning That Will Help You Succeed in University: A Virtual Tutorial with Professor Derek Rowntree. Wappingers Falls, NY: Beekman Books, 1989.