Use the spectrum of authority strategy. Identify the feelings, beliefs and cultural/societal influences of an argument and compare them to its scientific influences.
When taking notes, use the text coding strategy. Mark important arguments and key facts. Indicate where you agree and disagree or have further questions.
State one point at a time. Then elaborate, give examples and use analogies. When analyzing an arguement, think about its:
- Point of View
- Info and Data
- Use wasted time
- Redefine the way you see things
- Analyze the influences on your thinking
Review more tips on critical thinking in everyday life.
Consider your intellectual commitments, values and standards. Do you approach problems with an open mind, a respect for truth and an inquiring attitude? Try to work these qualities into your daily life.
Reflect on your learning. Think about the following questions and write your answers in the boxes bellow. You can email your answers to yourself, but this is totally optional.
Enhance Your Learning
Enhance Your Wellness
It’s easier for your mind to think critically when you take care of your mental and physical health. Here are a few tips for better health, better focus, and better grades:
- Take 10-minute activity breaks to reach 30 to 60 minutes of physical activity each day. Try taking a break between classes and walk to the coffee shop that’s furthest away. Scheduling physical activity into your day can help lower stress and increase mental alertness.
- Do your most difficult work when you have the most energy. Think about the time of day you are most effective and have the most energy. Plan to do your most difficult work during these times.
- Reach out for help. If you feel you need assistance with your mental or physical health, talk to a counsellor or visit a doctor.
Enhance Your Resources
- Watch these videos on the principles of critical thinking and how to evaluate a website
- Refer to this resource on critical thinking, logic and creativity, developed by the University of Hong Kong
- For some more information and tips, see Wikipedia’s article on critical thinking and UBC’s mind mapping resources
- To learn about how you think and learn, take our self-assessment quiz
- The Foundation for Critical Thinking has a wealth of resources and research related to critical thinking