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Critical Reflection

Someone with critical thinking skills is able to do the following :

  • understand the logical connections between ideas

  • identify, construct and evaluate arguments

  • detect inconsistencies and common mistakes in reasoning

  • solve problems systematically

  • identify the relevance and importance of ideas

  • reflect on the justification of one's own beliefs and values

First off, we might suggest that you begin by seeking answers to the following questions when you critically assess a piece of literature:

  • What broad topic and specific focus are being addressed in this literature?

  • What is the overall point of view expressed on this specific topic?

  • Is the structure of the argument logical - and what are the assumptions that are made in the argument?

  • What is the quality of evidence used in support of this argument - both in terms of the number of different pieces of evidence but also in terms of the ‘believability’ of each source?

  • How does the view expressed in this literature relate to other pieces of literature on the same topic?

  • How does the view expressed here differ from or endorse other views expressed on the same topic?

  • On the balance of evidence before you, what are the strengths and weaknesses of the argument?

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