Essay about Critical Thinking

1488 Words Mar 5th, 2012 6 Pages
From Lecture & Handouts: 

A. Know the steps in Halpern's framework for critical thinking. Reviewed below. 

B. Know the names of the eight activities (each has an alternate term, but just need to know the main ones on the picture), and be able to match up descriptions of these activities with the correct name. SEE YOUR HANDOUT. 

C. Know the steps in the paramedic method, and be prepared to apply them to a problem sentence. Steps given below. 

Diana Halpern's (1996) Framework for Critical Thinking 

Definition: Critical thinking is the use of cognitive skills or strategies that increase the probability of a good outcome. CT is purposeful, reasoned, and goal-directed. 

Answer the following questions: 

1. What is the goal?
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Did you solve the problem you set out to solve? Check your solution against the criteria. Does it work? Are all subgoals addressed? Does you solution exhibit the qualities that your audience/customer/employer values? 

PARAMEDIC METHOD: (Adapted from Lanham, 1979) 

1. Circle the prepositions (usually found at the beginning of a phrase--to, of, in, etc.)
2. Circle all forms of the verb "to be" (is, was, seems to be, etc.) 

NOTE: steps 1 & 2 tell you whether a sentence is problematic and needs paramedic attention. 

3. Find the real action, actor, and target.
4. Express this in simple active verb. 

Steps 3 & 4 tell you how to cure the problem of wordy, clumsy train-wreck sentences, turning them into clear, concise, lively prose. 

5. Start fast--no mindless introductions; and end crisply--no mindless conclusions. 

Step 5 is a reminder to check beginnings and endings to be sure the sentences have real CONTENT, and aren't just meaningless collections of words. 

Tools of Critical Thinking 

This part of the study guide identifies key points you should know from each chapter of CRITICAL THINKING. You should be able to recognize examples of different errors and fallacies, and also to generate your own examples, if called for. In other words, you need to go beyond memorizing a definition to understand what it means. 

Chapter 1: The Evaluative Bias of Language 

Our use of a term serves to describe and prescribe what is desirable or

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