Let’s make this one thing loud and clear: most employers won’t expect you to remember every single thing you learned in the history class. What they really expect from you, though, is to think, to be able to make sense and connection between concepts and assess information critically.
In the real world, It does not matter how many facts you know; what really matters is your ability to evaluate them critically. Many professionals often note that a person’s ability to think through and come up with solutions to resolve complex problems values more in the “real world” than a particular content.
What is critical thinking exactly?
According to The Foundation for Critical Thinking, “Critical thinking is the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action.”
Critical thinking involves the ability to evaluate information objectively and make a sound judgement. It requires you to assess various sources, like facts, data, theories, concepts and research outcomes.
With the help of critical thinking skills, you’d be able to draw a reasonable conclusion from a set of data and distinguish between important and less important details to come up with effective solutions or make decisions.
Here’s how you can improve and practice critical thinking skill:
1. Be curious and don’t hesitate to ask questions
“You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.” – Naguib Mahfouz
Critical thinkers are one hell of curious beings. They don’t easily believe in everything you put in front of them. They assess information through the cause and effect approach. They know that every action has a consequence, so they prefer to consider all possible options until they found the best one to make a decision. And asking the question can help speed up this process. You might dislike that one person who asks so many questions, but believe us, his critical thinking abilities would be far better than those who don’t get curious at all!
If you want to be a critical thinker, you need to be curious about everything!
2. Question basic assumption and belief
The fundamental part of being a skilled critical thinker is to be able to question your basic assumption. How can the earth be flat? Why apple fell down from the tree? History’s greatest innovations came into being when some legends simply took some time to wonder what if these popular beliefs were wrong. From Einstein to Newton, questioning conventional beliefs is what make them the greatest innovators.
You don’t necessarily have to be as great as Newton. You can even start by questioning the simplest things in your life. For example, that crush in chemistry class you wanted to talk about? A job you wanted to get? A scholarship you wanted to pursue? All of these things can be fulfilled only if you start questioning what’s right, prudent and appropriate or achievable.
3. Talk about solutions
One of the most compelling habits of critical thinkers is their interest in finding solutions rather than placing blames. When faced with a problem, a critical thinker is more inclined towards finding the solution than gossiping or complaining. They spend less time placing blames and more in discussing possible solutions for the problem at hand. If you really want to be a true critical thinker, you need to be empathetic, diplomatic and compassionate at the time of conflict or problem. This is when you’re required to evaluate the situation and present solutions in a way that everyone can understand.
4. Try reversing things
Another way of improving your critical thinking skills is to consider reversing things. It may appear that A causes B, but what if the situation is reversed and that it is B that caused A.
Didn’t get that? Take the classic “chicken and egg problem” for example; we believe that it is the chicken who came first. Obviously, eggs come from chicken, but then again, chicken come from eggs, so there’s a possibility that the egg might have come first. What do you think?
Even if reversing things didn’t help you find out the solution, but at least you will have plenty of unique possibilities to consider that can guide you to a path to finding a solution. The aforementioned tips are particularly helpful when you’re assigned a task that requires critical thinking and analysis. In case of any confusion, feel free to acquire our dissertation writing service. Good luck!