In the previous two articles we introduced some of the intellectual skills, abilities, and dispositions essential to the development of the educated person as articulated in our Thinker's Guide for Students on How to Study and Learn. All the ideas in this miniature guide are designed to help students think deeply through content and develop intellectually. In this article we focus on the analysis and evaluation of reasoning.
To evaluate or assess thinking, we apply intellectual standards to the parts of thinking, standards such as clarity, accuracy, relevance, logic, precision, justifiability, significance, depth, and breadth. For example, we ask whether the purpose and question are clear, the information relevant and accurate, the inferences and implications logical, the assumptions and concepts justifiable, the point of view relevant. When students can analyze and assess reasoning, they have skills essential to the educated person. In this column, we provide templates for students to use in analyzing and assessing reasoning in written form, the reasoning, for example, embedded in an article, essay, chapter, or textbook. Each of the sections in this column is written in the form of directions for students.
One important skill for understanding an essay, article or chapter is through the analysis of the parts of the author’s reasoning. Once you have done this, you can then evaluate the author’s reasoning using intellectual standards. Here is a template to follow.
If you truly understand these structures as they interrelate in an article, essay, or chapter, you should be able to empathically role-play the thinking of the author. Remember, these are the 8 basic structures that define all thinking. They are the essential element of thought.
{Information in this article is taken from Paul, R. & Elder, L. 2001, | | |||||||

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How to Study and Learn (Part Three) ### Sublinks:

Critical Thinking in Everyday Life: 9 Strategies

Developing as Rational Persons: Viewing Our Development in Stages

How to Study and Learn (Part One)

How to Study and Learn (Part Two)

How to Study and Learn (Part Three)

How to Study and Learn (Part Four)

The Art of Close Reading (Part One)

The Art of Close Reading (Part Two)

The Art of Close Reading (Part Three)

Looking To The Future With a Critical Eye: A Message for High School Graduates

Becoming a Critic Of Your Thinking

For Young Students (Elementary/K-6)

Developing as Rational Persons: Viewing Our Development in Stages

How to Study and Learn (Part One)

How to Study and Learn (Part Two)

How to Study and Learn (Part Three)

How to Study and Learn (Part Four)

The Art of Close Reading (Part One)

The Art of Close Reading (Part Two)

The Art of Close Reading (Part Three)

Looking To The Future With a Critical Eye: A Message for High School Graduates

Becoming a Critic Of Your Thinking

For Young Students (Elementary/K-6)