Critical thinking concepts and tools

A statement can be both clear and accurate, but not precise, as in Jack is overweight. Question: Is the question at issue well-stated? It can be fair or unfair. Could you be more specific?

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What are some of the complexities of this question? It requires rigorous standards of excellence and mindful command of their use. Could you give me more details?

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In order to adequately address the question, we would need to have a clear understanding of what the person asking the question is considering the problem to be. For students, it is a critical thinking supplement to any textbook for any course. What question am I addressing? Could you give me an example? How could we check that? For example, the statement Just Say No which is often used to discourage children and teens from taking drugs, is clear, accurate, precise, and relevant. Often, however, effort does not measure the quality of student learning, and when that is so, effort is irrelevant to their appropriate grade. Shoddy thinking is costly, both in money and in quality of life. What would this look like from the point of view of? A line of reasoning may be clear, accurate, precise, relevant, and deep, but lack breadth as in an argument from either the conservative or liberal standpoints which gets deeply into an issue, but only recognizes the insights of one side of the question.

Which of these facts are most important? How does that help us with the issue? Breadth: Do we need to consider another point of view?

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Critical Thinking: The Miniature Guide to Concepts & Tools