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Critical Thinking Skills For Dummies

Critical Thinking Skills For Dummies

Martin Cohen

ISBN: 978-1-118-92473-0

Mar 2015

376 pages



Turbocharge your reasoning with Critical Thinking

 Just what are the ingredients of a great argument? What is the secret to communicating your ideas clearly and persuasively? And how do you see through sloppy thinking and flim-flam?  If you’ve ever asked any of these questions, then this book is for you!

 These days, strong critical thinking skills provide a vital foundation for academic success, and Critical Thinking Skills For Dummies offers a clear and unintimidating introduction to what can otherwise be a pretty complex topic. Inside, you'll get hands-on, lively, and fun exercises that you can put to work today to improve your arguments and pin down key issues.

 With this accessible and friendly guide, you'll get plain-English instruction on how to identify other people's assumptions, methodology, and conclusions, evaluate evidence, and interpret texts effectively. You'll also find tips and guidance on reading between the lines, assessing validity – and even advice on when not to apply logic too rigidly!

Critical Thinking Skills for Dummies:

  • Provides tools and strategies from a range of disciplines great for developing your reflective thinking skills
  • Offers expert guidance on sound reasoning and textual analysis
  • Shows precisely how to use concept mapping and brainstorming to generate insights
  • Demonstrates how critical thinking skills is a proven path to success as a student

Whether you're undertaking reviews, planning research projects or just keen to give your brain a workout, Critical Thinking Skills For Dummies equips you with everything you need to succeed.

Introduction 1

Part I: Getting Started with Critical Thinking Skills 7

Chapter 1: Entering the Exciting World of Critical Thinking 9

Chapter 2: Peering into the Mind: How People Think 21

Chapter 3: Planting Ideas in Your Head: The Sociology of Thinking 41

Chapter 4: Assessing Your Thinking Skills 65

Part II: Developing Your Critical Thinking Skills 91

Chapter 5: Critical Thinking Is Like . . . Solving Puzzles: Reasoning by Analogy 93

Chapter 6: Thinking in Circles: The Power of Recursion 113

Chapter 7: Drawing on Graphical (and Other) Tools for Thinking 133

Chapter 8: Constructing Knowledge: Information Hierarchies 159

Part III: Applying Critical Thinking in Practice 175

Chapter 9: Getting to the Heart of the (Reading) Matter 177

Chapter 10: Cultivating Your Critical Writing Skills 199

Chapter 11: Speaking and Listening Critically: Effective Learning 217

Part IV: Reason and Argument 235

Chapter 12: Unlocking the Logic of Real Arguments 237

Chapter 13: Behaving Like a Rational Animal 259

Chapter 14: Using Words to Persuade: The Art of Rhetoric 275

Chapter 15: Presenting Evidence and Justifying Opinions 293

Part V: The Part of Tens 317

Chapter 16: Ten Logical Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them 319

Chapter 17: Ten Arguments that Changed the World 327

Index 339