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Research Skills: Critical thinking

Critical thinking

Critical thinking guide from Emerald



Critical thinking means not taking what you hear or read at face value, but using your critical faculties to weigh up the evidence, and considering the implications and conclusions of what the writer is saying.

Fake news

Critical thinking checklist

Your critical evaluation checklist should include:  

Identify what is important:

  • key ideas, arguments, findings and conclusions
  • Is the evidence reliable and valid or vague and obscure?

Evaluating claims:

  • Is the language appropriate or emotive and biased?
  • Are the methods of investigation appropriate?
  • Do you agree with the assumptions and inferences being made?

Evaluate publications against each other:

  • What other perspectives and viewpoints have you discovered?
  • Have you identified arguments and sub-arguments?
  • Do you require more information from other sources?

Your own interpretation and summation:

  • Have you personal observations to contribute?
  • Are you able to connect ideas from the experts you have read?
  • Is your analysis intelligent and objective

You might also read this piece from the Open University

If you want to further grasp this topic I would recommend this tutorial created by UCD


Learning sources in Emerald