Uses of Critical Thinking

Critical thinking underlies reading, writing, speaking, and listening. These are the 4 basic elements of communication. Critical thinking also plays an important part in social change. Consider that the institutions in any society - courts, governments, schools, businesses - are the products of a certain way of thinking.

Any organization draws its life from certain assumptions about the way things should be done. Before the institution can change, those assumptions need to be loosened up or reinvented.
Critical thinking also helps us uncover bias and prejudice. This is a first step toward communicating with people of other races and cultures.

Critical thinking is a path to freedom from half-truths and deception. You have the right to question what you see, hear, and read. Acquiring this ability is one of the major goals of a liberal education.

Skilled students are thorough thinkers. They distinguish between opinion and fact. They ask powerful questions. They make detailed observations. They uncover assumptions and define their terms. They make assertions carefully, basing them on sound logic and solid evidence. Almost everything that we call knowledge is a result of these activities. This means that critical thinking and learning are intimately linked.

Practice your right to question!

Ellis, Dave. (2000). Becoming a master student (Ninth ed.). Houghton Mifflin. Boston.