Demonstrates your critical thinking abilities

We have been discussing the value of General Education skills such as Critical Thinking and Communication. Now that you have identified how these skills are an important feature of your education, we are going to look at the elements of Critical Thinking in an assignment from one of your prior classes.

Step One: Locate a Prior Assignment

Review your prior assignments and locate an assignment that you think demonstrates your Critical Thinking abilities. It would be preferable for you to choose an assignment from one of your major classes, but if you cannot locate an assignment from one of these courses, you can submit one from a General Education course. Consider an assignment such as a research paper when you compared and contrasted two subjects or an assignment where you analyzed a topic such as the different types of treatment available for an illness.

The key is to locate an assignment which shows how you demonstrate knowledge, apply understanding, and show analysis, judgment, and/or evaluation of a topic.

Step Two: Examine Your Assignment

To help you identify an assignment that demonstrates critical thinking, let's start by taking a close look at critical thinking. What IS critical thinking? It's a term used frequently in classrooms and assignments, but you may not be very clear on what makes for an effective demonstration of critical thinking.

In searching for elements of critical thinking in a prior assignment, consider the below:

o How do you use data in your piece? Effective critical thinking means...

Identifying and applying useful data and information

Demonstrate logic to interpret data

Define and explain important terms and complicated concepts (this might be related to the data or sources you use)

Adapting knowledge (or data) to specific scenarios and issues

o How else do you support your thesis? Effective critical thinking means...

Describing experiences and opinions

Developing examples to support thesis and claims

Articulating relationships

• How do you deal with opposing points of view? Effective critical thinking means...

o Recognizing and discuss inferences and faulty logic

o Developing a plan to generate and construct a solution to a problem

o Combining multiple viewpoints and strategies in problem solving

o Identify and address opposing points of view

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