What is critical thinking?

Thinking critically does not mean being negative. Instead, it refers to a way of approaching the ideas of other scholars and researchers - questioning, evaluating, and checking the accuracy and validity of ideas and information.

In writing, this often means evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of an idea, a response and/or a theory. What are the useful elements? What are the problems? What could be better supported? The QuickRef on Critical review writing, in Language and Learning Online outlines the process and structure of writing a critical review of an academic text.

The Learning support for research students website provides guidance on how to build your thinking and writing skills, including reading critically and critically analysing arguments.