Critical thinking is the evaluation of information so that a logical and well informed choice can be made on a decision. In essence this means not acting on a piece of information until the source of that information can be validated and verified. I started using critical thinking when I started a degree in business and management, business as a rule runs on informed decisions and many businesses coach their management on the uses and applications of critical thinking to actually improve their effectiveness in the running of the business. In an academic environment the ability to use critical thinking can be a important part of how you learn.
For example, using critical thinking in a discussion can help you construct an argument by using facts to back up your opinion on a particular subject. This would allow you to put across your point by evaluating the facts and constructing an argument using primary and maybe even secondary sources, which will show what you are basing your opinion on reasoned argument rather than just putting a point forward solely based on personal opinion. I believe the best application in the academic world is essay writing, starting from other people’s opinions or facts, and bringing them together to create your own conclusion on the subject and expressing it in a written form. It is now more important in the academic world to try a teach students not only the facts and figures, In addition to also trying to help them understand that an important part of the working world is to be able to hold back from reaching a decision until all information has been collated and considered. For example, on preparing to write this article I have been to many different sources on the Internet to try and get a better understanding of the subject, by doing this I have a better appreciation and can write a more accurate description rather than just writing about my own opinion on the subject. In a way there is a role in every part of the academic process, from researching of material to interacting in learning related discussions.
Students should always be encouraged to try and use critical thinking; even choosing the right reference for an essay can prove the critical thinking abilities of an individual, the ability to analyze the importance of a reference can help with development of cognitive skills which will allow them to make better decisions in a work place environment. When it comes to essays each part is broken into sections and you normally begin with a subject of some description, firstly critical thinking will allow you to start looking at other people’s opinions and ability to comment critically on these opinions whether for or against them can be a large part of any successful assignment. In conclusion critical thinking is a way of thinking about a problem or situation using fact and not opinion as a way of forming your own opinion and making reasoned decisions. Both in the academic world and in the workplace there are examples of situations in which critical thinking is beneficial. It is also useful to back up a opinion with intellectual and informed research rather than just relying on illogical facts.