At university it is important to critically examine your own ideas as well as the information you come across during your studies. This means questioning information rather than simply accepting it. You need to evaluatewhy people make claims and how they justify them. Doing this will help you make informed judgements about what you agree with and what you disagree with.
The more questions you ask about information and ideas, the deeper you will understand them. For each situation or idea you come across, try to answer the questions: Who? What? When? Where? Why? How?
Big picture, small details and perspective
In order to be critical of information, think about the bigger picture, or the context it was produced in. Also inspect the details and imagine what the information looks like from different perspectives.
Critically analysing a news source
News sources have a different purpose to academic books and journal articles. Even if you just use news sources for background research, you need to be critical of what you read.
Click on the + to explore aspects of this article which need to be looked at critically. You can open a full-screen version.
Click on the image to open a full-screen version of this infographic on questioning ideas and information.
Browse the Solent Library catalogue on the topic of critical thinking. Resources available include critical thinking for specific subjects, video courses, and in depth guides.