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Introduction

critical-thinking-icon40x40 Welcome to Thinking Matters, a short course in critical thinking.

You have chosen to investigate an area which is of great importance to your academic success. It seems that thinking is such a natural thing to do, so the question arises: why spend time on this topic, when there is so much to learn in your chosen field of study?

The answer is that thinking about thinking is vitally important. In fact, it is so important that most universities list ‘critical thinking’ as a key capability of their graduates. Certainly, Curtin University expects all of its graduates to be able to ‘think critically, creatively and reflectively’.

critical-thinking-checklist-icon40x40 This program begins with a brief self-evaluation of how you feel about your current level of skills for thinking effectively in academic contexts.

This is followed by an introduction to critical thinking which explains what it is, offers some definitions of key terms, and discusses the importance of culture and language in determining how thinking is represented in various situations.

The next section looks more closely at how different kinds of thinking are expressed in different styles of writing, and offers some relevant examples for you to think about it in the context of your own area of study.

After this comes a closer look at analysis, showing how it is applied to data and information which needs to be organized, summarized and interpreted.

The final (and longest) section considers how to apply the process of critique to various forms of argument. Practical examples of both valid and invalid arguments are provided to help you sharpen your skills in building and communicating the knowledge which you create at university.

The program concludes with a brief questionnaire which allows you to give important feedback so that we can continually improve and update the program.

Now click on the Next button below to move to the next section where you can complete your critical thinking self-evaluation checklist.

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