Critical Thinking

I’m currently working on producing a summary and review of the book Critical Thinking Skills by Stella Cottrell.

The introduction to this book provides a good opportunity for a reader to engage their brains about what critical thinking really means. Each chapter facilitates the readers development as a critical thinker and provides exercises and tasks that build on one another throughout the book. For our purposes in a mentoring session, the book provides a useful method for approaching critical thinking and writing, suggesting that a writer should first learn to identify arguments within a text before going on to develop their own critical writing skills. The first 9 chapters focus on reading a source and developing evaluative skills and the ability to select appropriate sources. Chapter 10 covers the act of writing critically, and takes the writer through various approaches depending on the nature of the assignment a writer is preparing (essay vs reports/dissertations). Furthermore, chapter 11 then provides additional practice to enable a writer to identify the characteristics of good critical writing, it does this by providing examples and then sets tasks based upon these. The final chapter discusses critical reflection, a technique often employed by those students who bring attention back to their own experience.

Additionally, I am currently using this book as a resource to form a mini guide to critical thinking which I will add to as I do more extended reading.

Cottrell, S. 2011. Critical thinking skills: Developing effective analysis and argument. Palgrave Macmillan.


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