How to be a Critical Thinker: What Do You Write When You Have to Critique Something?



As part of my perfect essay series, I am sharing with you my free downloadable critical thinking matrix worksheet. This worksheet is filled with questions you can ask or answer in order to critically think and engage with material or media. We consume so much in our society, and it is important to consider all the components, frameworks, and implications of the material we consume.

When I ask students to critique something, I often see them just disagreeing with a piece of material. When writing an essay or forming a response to readings, being a critical thinker doesn't just mean to 'critique.' Critically engaging with material means to starting making connections, asking questions, broadening understanding and contextualizing the material.

So how do we 'contextualize' something?

Well answering or thinking about a few of these questions is a good place to start:

Critical Thinking Matrix
Who Benefits from this?
Is this harmful to?
Makes decisions about this?
Is most directly affected?
Have you also heard this?
Would be the best person to consult?
Will be the key people in this?
Deserves recognition for this?
What Are strengths/weaknesses?
Is another perspective?
Is another alternative?
Would be a counter-argument?
Is the best/worst case scenario?
Is most/least important?
Can we do to make a positive change?
Is getting in the way of action?
Where Would we see this in the real world?
Are there similar concepts/situations?
Is there the most need for this?
In the world would this be a problem?
Can we get more information?
Do we go for help with this?
Will this idea take us?
Are there areas for improvement?
When Is this acceptable/unacceptable?
Would benefit our society?
Would this cause a problem?
Is the best time to take action?
Will we know we’ve succeeded?
Has this played a part in our history?
Can we expect this to change?
Should we ask for help with this?
Why Is this a problem/challenge?
Is it relevant to me/others?
Is this the best/worst scenario?
Are people influenced by this?
Should people know about this?
Has it been this way for so long?
Have we allowed this to happen?
Is there a need for this today?
How Is this similar to ________?
Does this disrupt things?
Do we know the truth about this?
Will we approach this safely?
Does this benefit us/others?
Does this harm us/others?
Do we see this in the future?
Can we change this for our good?

Download a free PDF printable of this >> critical thinking matrix.

Want to know how to structure and organize almost any essay you'll ever write in the arts and social sciences? Check out my easy-peasy post and printable for a sample paper structure.

Want to read and download a detailed guide to writing literature reviews and essays in the arts and social sciences to get the A+ you deserve? Check out my all-inclusive 'how to get an A+ on any paper you write' post.

Want to know one secret to success in the classroom as a student? Check out my 'fake it till you make it' student tips for getting better grades at university post.

That's all for now!

Want me to write more posts, tutorials, and guides to becoming a better student? Leave a comment below about topics you want me to cover!
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