Many students feel very confused when they are assigned to do a critical thinking essay. It’s easy to see why. Such assignments are often very complicated. They have to showcase so many things at once. A student must demonstrate analytical thinking, the ability to research, and good writing skills. All that and even more is what makes this assignment such a challenge for many. However, it gets easier once you understand the basics and specifics of this paper type. You need to follow the purpose and structure of the paper to do it right.
So here is an example of how to write a critical thinking essay. Look at what steps you have to make to complete the assignment with ease. Follow this simple guidance, and you’ll be fine.
The purpose of critical thinking
Anyone who wonders, “what is a critical thinking essay?” must first learn more about the concept of critical thinking. To tell briefly, this is the ability that can help you make it through college. It is a process where a person must use their analytical skills for reflection of certain ideas, actions, and so on. Using these skills, students can analyze texts they read, find a logical explanation for ideas, and debate various concepts.
By being analytical, a student switches from being a passive to an active learner. They are no longer accepting every fact or idea they hear but question everything till they have logical proof. Overall, any student can only win by learning and practicing critical thinking, and writing is one of the best ways to achieve that.
How to write a critical thinking essay
The process of writing this assignment is more or less similar to making the majority of academic papers. However, the main difference here is to prioritize arguments and reason over the creative flow of words and depictions. Logic and rationality should be the stars of the show now. You are supposed to take a reader on a journey. In the beginning, they may know nothing about the topic or have the opposite from your opinion. By the end of your work, they must fully understand your logic, even if they still don’t agree with it.
Remember, your goal is not to convince the audience but to demonstrate coherent and logical arguments. At the core of such work should be the main question you have to answer. The process of answering that question through reasoning and debating is your essay in a nutshell.
Do your research
You can’t go too far in this type of paper without completing research. This is a necessary stage of your work for multiple reasons. First, you have to collect enough evidence, rationale, and examples to support your arguments. You can’t base the entire work only on your personal opinions. It simply won’t be enough for you readers to find you believable. If you look at any critical thinking essay examples online, you’ll see how many references they usually have.
Develop a strong thesis statement
A thesis statement should be at the center of the entire work. It is the aim and focus of your work when it comes to your further search for answers. Everything you are going to write in your paper should be relevant to your thesis statement. Hence, you have to come up with a strong thesis statement that explains the purpose of your writing and brings a new perspective to the topic you have chosen.
Overall, a thesis statement should define the purpose of your work. Hence, it helps you as well as it helps your readers. For readers, a good thesis statement shows why the writer’s position on the issue. It demonstrates why you find this topic important. It also shows your approach towards exploring the given issue. For you as a writer, a thesis statement is a lighthouse that helps you stay on the right course.
An outline is basically the first version of your paper. Some students may confuse it with a draft, though they would be wrong. A draft can be a random group of thoughts written on a napkin, for all that matter. A draft has rules or specifics. An outline, on the other hand, is a precise map of your future work. You get to structure and organize your thoughts in a convincing, effective manner.
A critical thinking paper outline should demonstrate how well you build up your argument. It should show whether you have any loopholes in your explanation. Too often, a critical essay may suffer from a lack of reasoning, evaluation, or reliable evidence. You should see where you may be missing a point of two. Make sure that you keep your focus on the main theme throughout the entire text. Insert transitional sentences between each paragraph. You can’t afford to lose the attention of your readers even for a minute.
Only when you feel satisfied with your outline can you move on to writing the whole paper.
You can feel free to follow the classic five-paragraph rule with this paper. It means that you have to start with an introduction, move on to the main body paragraphs, and end with a conclusion. The first and last paragraphs here remain similar to any other written work you have ever done. The main body, though, may require few specific approaches to differentiate this type of essay from any other. A perfect example of a critical thinking essay will consist of such elements as:
- a narrow area of analysis;
- an objective analysis of every side of the issue (including contradicting viewpoint);
- academic restrained tone;
- references to support each argument.
In general, your main goal here is to provide your readers with a full and unbiased analysis. Each of the arguments you provide should be undeniable. You shouldn’t keep any space for doubts or questions.
At last, in conclusion, you must provide a brief summary of your main ideas and explanations. You should recall your thesis statement at this point and to see whether you have fulfilled its aim. Did you confirm or reject the promise set in a thesis statement? Have you met a lack of research in the given sphere? Feel free to suggest where further research is needed in order to complete studies in the given area.
Your work is not finished with the last dot in the text. You are done only after you proofread and edit your text. Editing is a crucial writing stage that many students tend to ignore. It is a huge mistake. Nothing undermines all your efforts more than a text full of typos and errors. Your audience catches every mistake. You can easily avoid it by revising the text before sending it.
Though this final stage is not only for finding grammar mistakes, you should also check the overall style and writing flow. See if you can keep the attention of your audience throughout the whole paper. Seek any loopholes in your logic. Perhaps you rushed to a conclusion somewhere or skipped an explanation you found too obvious. See what can harm your logic in the text, and fix that.