After completing exercises to improve your critical thinking skills, you can move on to these activities. When coming across any type of argument, identify the role that each statement plays. Then re-construct the argument by paying attention only to propositions that use words like because, but, however and therefore. Ask yourself what the author’s central claim is and what supports it. Also ask yourself whether the author’s arguments are objective or subjective. For the objective parts, is there supporting evidence? For the subjective parts, does the author have any biases? These activities will help you improve your skills of analysis.
- Re-construct the argument using only relational cues such as because, but, however, therefore and thus.
- Then ask what the central claim is, and what are the main supports and objections to it.
- Ask whether subjective propositions may be biased, and whether objective ones are supported by evidence.
“At the beginning of the calendar year, I posted a piece on this blog asking if any readers wanted to develop their critical thinking as a kind of New Year’s Resolution. Over the past few months, I’ve received some positive feedback about the post and decided that continuing with the proposed series of exercises seems warranted!”