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In the first example, the steps would be more basic, while in the second example they would obviously be more advanced. Either way, the topic of the essay, becoming a better tennis player, is the same, but because the audiences are different, the information in each essay will be different as well. The same is true of an argument or persuasive essay. One potential audience may be the students who attend Aims, in which case explaining how this change would benefit students with more accurate grading becomes important.

Another audience could be the Aims senior management, in which case the benefits to enrollment and student retention become important points to address. Knowing the intended audience for an essay can also answer other questions that frequently arise. This question can be answered by knowing the audience.

Put another way, if you are writing an essay on a medical topic and the audience is medical professionals, complex medical terms can and probably even should be used. If, on the other hand, your audience is a group of non-medical experts ex: women diagnosed with breast cancer , such terms would need to be explained or not used at all.

Definition and Examples of Critical Thinking

Stacking the Deck. Straw Man.

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Tu Quoque. Share Flipboard Email. Richard Nordquist is a freelance writer and former professor of English and Rhetoric who wrote college-level Grammar and Composition textbooks. Updated January 19, While not synonymous with good thinking, Critical Thinking is a pervasive and self-rectifying human phenomenon. The ideal critical thinker is habitually inquisitive, well-informed, trustful of reason, open-minded, flexible, fair-minded in evaluation, honest in facing personal biases, prudent in making judgments, willing to reconsider, clear about issues, orderly in complex matters, diligent in seeking relevant information, reasonable in the selection of criteria, focused in inquiry, and persistent in seeking results which are as precise as the subject and the circumstances of inquiry permit.

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The relationship seems to be straightforward: thought is expressed in and through language. But this claim, while true, is an oversimplification. People often fail to say what they mean. And we all use words not merely to express our thoughts but also to shape them.

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Developing our critical thinking skills, therefore, requires an understanding of the ways in which words can and often fail to express our thoughts. Broadview, Dispositions That Foster or Impede Critical thinking "Dispositions that foster critical thinking include [a] facility in perceiving irony , ambiguity , and multiplicity of meanings or points of view; the development of open-mindedness, autonomous thought, and reciprocity Piaget's term for the ability to empathize with other individuals, social groups, nationalities, ideologies, etc.

Dispositions that act as impediments to critical thinking include defense mechanisms such as absolutism or primary certitude, denial, projection , culturally conditioned assumptions, authoritarianism, egocentrism, and ethnocentrism, rationalization, compartmentalization, stereotyping and prejudice.

Atwill and Janice M. The underlying premise is that writing is closely linked with thinking and that in presenting students with significant problems to write about—and in creating an environment that demands their best writing—we can promote their general cognitive and intellectual growth. When we make students struggle with their writing, we are making them struggle with thought itself.

Emphasizing writing and critical thinking , therefore, generally increases the academic rigor of a course. Often the struggle of writing, linked as it is to the struggle of thinking and to the growth of a person's intellectual powers, awakens students to the real nature of learning.

Wiley, - "Finding a fresh approach to a writing assignment means that you must see the subject without the blinders of preconception. When people expect to see a thing in a certain way, it usually appears that way, whether or not that is its true image.


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  • Similarly, thinking based on prefabricated ideas produces writing that says nothing new, that offers nothing important to the reader. As a writer, you have a responsibility to go beyond the expected views and present your subject so that the reader sees it with fresh eyes. Today these questions can still help writers understand the topic about which they are writing.

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    An sit? Is the problem a fact?


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    • What kind of problem is it? By asking these questions, writers see their subject from many new angles before they begin to narrow the focus to one particular aspect.