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Academic writing

How to write in an evidenced based formal style

Critical thinking: Things you need to know...

Success at university depends upon your ability to think critically. 

  1. Critically appraisal your sources of information.  This involves reading critically by questioning. Who wrote this? Why did they do it that way that? How have they reached their conclusions?  Is there any other explanation for this? Do not just accept what you read or see.
  2. Discover where the weight of evidence lies.  How many experts in the subject area agree?  Do any experts disagree and if so, why?  This should challenge your thinking.
  3. Be sceptical about research.  How old is the research?  How experienced is the researcher?  Did they justify their research methodology?   Do you agree with their findings?  Were the conclusions sensible?  Could the research be improved upon?  Can you justify using this research in your assignment?  
  4. Evaluate the evidence and draw your own sensible assumptions. Your tutor is looking for your informed opinion after conducting thorough research.  This may include making suggestions for further research.  To do this you need to become an efficient and effective library researcher and learn to use Google Scholar.
  5. Develop your ability to write critically.  This means learning to use the literature to support the arguments and assumptions you want to make in your writing.  If you are describing texts, you need to have a reason for doing so.  Remember, anyone can copy information from a book.  

The skill is in your ability to question, evaluate and communicate.



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Need to know more...

LEEDS UNIVERSITY (2019) Critical Thinking. [Accessed:2 September 2019]

LEARN HIGHER [Accessed 10 February 2023]