Can you tie your shoelaces and multiply 75 x 24 at the same time?
You probably have to pause and focus on the problem. It's the same with critical thinking - it's a slow and challenging process (Kahneman, 2011). Critical thinking is reasoned and reflective, and involves questioning your own thought processes or long-held beliefs (Lucas & Syrett, n.d.). At university you will have to apply it in every assignment as a way of justifying any statement you make. There are several elements to critical thinking:
When we describe "arguments" in university writing, we are not referring to being hostile or combative. Instead, argument is just a way of explaining why you believe a statement to be true (Van Cleave, 2016), and you must use your critical thinking skills in the process. You could look at arguments as a way of persuading people. Here are three methods of persuasion that are used in just about every argument you'll read. They all have their place, and several methods can be used in one piece of writing.
Using credible sources is the best way to form a strong argument. Evaluating sources is also part of critical thinking - you need to determine the credibility and quality of a source to use it in your writing. One way of doing this is to remember the acronym C.R.A.A.P:
(California State University, 2010)
If you've ever observed (or participated in) arguments on the Internet, you will have encountered logical fallacies. These are points that result from poor reasoning and flawed logic. Logical fallacies are a good example of what happens when you stop thinking critically and surrender to your own biases. See the list below for some common logical fallacies:
Want more examples of logical fallacies? See the document below.
California State University. (2010). Evaluating information - applying the CRAAP test. Retrieved from https://www.csuchico.edu/lins/handouts/eval_websites.pdf
Excelsior Online Writing Lab. (2018). Argument and critical thinking. Retrieved from https://www.oercommons.org/courses/argument-critical-thinking/view
Kahneman, D. (2011). Thinking, fast and slow. Toronto, Canada: Doubleday.
Lucas, L., & Syrett, H. (n.d.). Critical thinking and evaluating information. Retrieved from https://www.oercommons.org/courseware/module/25864/overview
Van Cleave, M. J. (2016). Introduction to logic and critical thinking. Retrieved from https://www.oercommons.org/courses/introduction-to-logic-and-critical-thinking-2