Archived Material (Critical thinking)

Critical thinking is the art of moving from description to explanation. It is about understanding why you hold the opinions you do, rather than simply saying what those opinions are. This book will take you through the process of analysing evidence and arguments, and how to construct a good argument yourself.

How does the ability to think critically affect your grades?

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Critical thinkingThere is an expectation that, as you work through university, you develop your thinking skills. For your coursework, you need to put together an argument, justify your argument, present a balanced debate and show that you have recognised other points of view. Ideally, you should be able to persuade others of your own point of view through the use of evidence and proof.

Your tutors will be thinking critically about anything that you write. They will look for an argument based on justification, reasoning and evidence in your writing, as well as your ability to evaluate. They will be expecting you to tell them why you hold the point of view you do, and they will check to see if you have presented evidence to support it.


Critical thinking is a key element of essay questions: in any discussion or evaluation, you need to be able to say why you think the way that you do.

Critical thinking allows for deep learning, as it helps you become able to make connections and show cause and effect, which is vital for university-level learning.