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The importance of critical thinking in writing

Developing ideas in writing is the greatest problem that students face, says Babi Kruchin.

Improve Your Writing by Studying Critical Thinking

Students, she says, can learn language rules, vocabulary words, and even how to structure essays. Learning how to develop ideas in writing is what proves most difficult for them. Why is critical thinking important? When Kruchin talks about the development of ideas in writing, she is referring to critical thinking — the ability to think clearly and form a judgment. Writing, she says, shows how a person thinks.

Students who have not learned to think critically often have a hard time developing ideas in writing. Schools and employers put a high value on critical thinking skills.

The importance of critical thinking shows up on standardized tests, such as the SAT with its "Critical Reading" and "Writing and Language" sections. Such tests measure how well students understand arguments, judge information, and make inferences.

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These skills are very important for success not only in school, but also in the workplace. She writes that critical thinking is an important skill to develop in life. It is the sort of thinking we should be engaging in when deciding what and whom to believe, which of two job offers to accept, or whether vaccinations really do cause autism.

It is probably the most difficult topic to teach and learn, but it is also the most important.

Five Reasons Why Writing is Important

She says that students can overcome grammar and vocabulary problems. Developing an original idea, then supporting it, is what students find difficult. I have the topic sentence, I have the supporting details. And critical thinking is also teachable, and students are able to learn, but it's harder to teach and to learn.

So, if learning critical thinking is difficult, what can you do? Kruchin suggests that students can start improving their writing and critical thinking skills by reading.

Students, however, should not read without a goal in mind.

The importance of critical thinking

Students should be active readers by studying how other writers build their arguments. In other words, they should consider the critical thinking of each author they have read.

Kruchin says that students should consider the writing of an author by asking a few simple questions while reading: How is the writer connecting these ideas? Look at the quote that the writer used. What comes after this quote? Does the writer just leave it as is, or analyze it and adds his or her own idea?

In addition, it helps students to discover the critical thinking resources that they have inside themselves. So it is the constant exercise of seeing how other authors think and then training the students to … "I don't think we teach critical thinking. It is almost a way to get the students to see inside and see that yes, they do think critically — we all have opinions, we all have judgments. But how do we voice them in an academic form? I don't believe they are less intelligent; some may not be as well trained in this discourse.

Five Reasons Why Writing is Important

The next time you are reading a book or an opinion piece in a newspaper, try to ask yourself some of the following questions: What is the argument that the writer is making? What evidence does the writer use? How does the writer present their ideas? How is the writer connecting their ideas? How does the writer evaluate information?

Asking these questions will give you a point to start understanding how other people think. It will also help you to think about how you can write better — and practice your critical thinking skills, too. John Russell wrote this story for Learning English. George Grow was the editor. We want to hear from you.

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