Christmas is coming. Yes I know. It won’t feel like Christmas for me until it is Christmas, no matter the amount of decorations weighing down on the poor cold shivering trees outside my window.
That said, let’s switch to the matter at hand.
I’ve been attending some classes on academic writing for a while now, not because I’m a novice, but because I think it is foolishness to assume you know it all and pump your shoulder full of pads like a vintage prop for a broadway production 🙂 – hmm that was quite picturesque.
There are two reasons why I decided to sign on for these seminars: one because I wanted to brush up my skills, and secondly, because I would be able to share it with a lot more people who need to understand what academic writing is about and how it is done. Being in attendance exposed me to methods and techniques on how I could effectively teach this subject, and thus reduce the number of essays i proofread a day (out of my own volition, i am not complaining guys). So you see, there is still a bit of selfish interest being catered for there, before you go all “awwwwww” on me 🙂 :p
I am going to make this as brief as possible, I pray thee – catch the important points and run with it.
A simplistic way to describe Critical Thinking is: questioning everything.
“Bella said the ball was orange”, Critical Thinking expects you to ask, “why isn’t the ball called burnt yellow, after all orange borders on that area? Besides, the last time we called the ball orange, Man-U got kicked out of the league “. ouch! That hurt huh hehehe.
Critical Analysis in art and social science (where Miss Media Junkie is located) involves asking questions, identifying problems and solutions, relating theory to practice, stating an argument and supporting it with evidence, making comparisons and evaluating.
The key elements in Critical Thinking include OBSERVATION from which you come to establish FACTS. It is from facts or absence of facts actually, that you draw INFERENCES. In testing how valid your inferences are, you form ASSUMPTIONS, which are followed by OPINIONS. When you apply logic to your opinions, you create an ARGUMENT.
CRITICAL ANALYSIS is channel through which you challenge the observations, facts, inferences, assumptions and opinions in the arguments you are analysing.
Any academic work, especially at Masters and PhD level that has no form of critical analysis, is a work of fiction. Even Fiction Writers Association of the Whole Wide World (a fictional organisation by the way) would reject that piece of text.
I hope with this short post, I’ve been able to set your head rolling at least on what critical analysis is about. I always tell people that the best way to learn what you don’t know is through personal research. When you approach someone who knows with ready questions, they get a sense that you have done your research and would be willing to help you. However, if you fall under the mummy-take-my-hand category…OYO state is your place of origin. It simply means you are On Your Own 🙂
As I have dashed in, shall I dash out.
Catch you before Christmas.