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Critical Thinking About Sources

Critical Thinking Skills - Examples

Critical Thinking and introduction to the Basic Skills by William Hughes
ISBN 1-921149-73-2

The primary focus of critical thinking skills is on determining whether arguments are sound, i.e. whether they have true premises and logical strength.But determining the soundness of arguments is not a simple matter, for three reasons.First, before we can assess an argument we must determine its precise meaning. Second, determining the truth or falsity of statements is often a difficult task. Third, assessing argument is complex because there are several different types of inferences and each type requires a different kind of assessment.

There three types of skills: interpretive skills, verification skills, and reason skills—constitutes what are usually referred to as critical thinking skills.

mastering critical thinking skills is also a matter of intellectual self-respect.  We all have the capacity to learn how to distinguish good arguments from bad ones and to work out for ourselves what we ought and ought not to believe, and it diminishes us as persons if we let others do our thinking for us.  If we are not prepared to think for ourselves, and to make the effort to learn how do this well, we will always remain slaves to the ideas and values of others and to our own ignorance. P. 11


Argumentation and Debate Critical thinking for Reasoned Decision Making by Austin J. Freeley and David L. Steinberg
ISBN 0-534-46115-2

Critical thinking:   the ability to analyze, criticize, and advocate ideas; to reason inductively and deductively; and to reach factual or judgmental conclusions based on sound inferences drawn from unambiguous statements of knowledge or belief.    P. 458

Author: Theresa Rienzo, Reference Librarian,James Edward Tobin Library, Molloy College 1000 Hempstead Ave. Rockville Centre, NY  11571

The ACRL Standards

  • Determine the extent of information needed
  • Access the needed information effectively and efficiently
  • Evaluate information and its sources critically
  • Incorporate selected information into one’s knowledge base
  • Use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose
  • Understand the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information, and access and use information ethically and legally
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