The Importance Of Critical Thinking Skills In Essay Writing

Critical thinking is a little like being your own quality controller. It is being critical of your own thought, and you may need to show that you have been policing your own thoughts and subsequent conclusions in your essays. Nobody is perfect at critical thinking otherwise we could eliminate bias and that alone is impossible. The goal is to avoid bias and prejudice as much as possible and to be as critical in your own thoughts and research as possible. Purposefully trying to debunk your own conclusions is a start, but as you can imagine, it is a seemingly never-ending process.

The mess you can get yourself in

Below is a short list of problems you experience when you are writing essays. These are problems you are supposed to be trying to overcome with critical thinking; even though none of the problems can be solved, it is more like piling ice cubes atop each other with the hopes of reaching the moon.

What is important to you? - You are invested in your own writing, even if you don’t want to write about it, which means your input alone will skewer the conclusion based on your attitudes and what’s important to you.

Your current bias and prejudice - You have them, and the people that think they have mastered this sort of thing are the most dangerous. Try looking up the various types of bias to get a clearer idea of your own mistakes. Look up things such as bias by omission or a confirmation bias.

Finding your own falsehood - What is fact? Fifty eyewitnesses can give a different account of events. Every time you research a fact you dilute it with your own interpretation.

Not believing all you research - For almost every thing you research there is an opposing theory. Try hard enough and you will find very convincing evidence on all sorts of things, including how the earth is not round or an oblate spheroid but that it is only our perception of it that makes it look that way.

For every yin there is a yang - No matter how many quotes you find from dead scholars to support your point, there are just as many that will disagree.

10 suggestions for every solution - Ten highly intelligent thinkers were given a crime scenario by a woman and each thinker came up with a perfectly logical solution of their own. Each one had flawless logic and demonstrated critical thinking but all of them cannot have been right.

Examples of very bad critical thinking

Dumb people are no problem in this world. The ones that know they are not professors are great, but the people that are dumb and do not know it are simply infuriating. Almost all of them exhibit massive examples of poor critical thinking. Here is a statement showing terrible critical thinking with an explanation as to why:

Terrible news, over 90% of the ocean is dead

This is a demonstration of very bad critical thinking. Even if the person had said the word “empty” instead of “dead” it would have been a good start. Plus, there are 332,519,000 cubic miles of water, so that 90% is a quite understandable. Life lives in microscopic form throughout but that would hardly make up 1% of the mass of organic life. Otherwise, you have fish swimming around or things living on the bottom and much of the bottom cannot sustain life (especially if it is 5 miles down). With all this evidence it shows how easily critical thinking can panic people. It is like having a fish in a fish tank and saying, “98% of the fish tank is dead.”

Hone your critical thinking skills

Here are seven things you need to think about when you are working on your critical thinking skills.

1. Precision
Give enough detail to really nail your point in the mind of the reader. Do not allow their interpretation to deviate too much from your own.

2. Depth
Do not just quote a fact, give people the how, the what, why, when and that logic. Sell your idea/fact to them with supporting arguments.

3. Accuracy
Get it right to the letter. No fact is 100% true. Even gravity cannot be defined as true, as how do you know it won’t change tomorrow or in 20 billion years?

4. Relevance
Quoting facts that add no weight to your claim is typical of very bad critical thinking. It is like when you have an argument with someone about how Hitler was represented by history, and they say you don’t know what you are talking about because one time you crashed your car.

5. Breadth
Examine your point from as many angles as you can within your time limit and word limit on your essay. By omitting you show bias, and the goal is to show as little bias as you can.