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The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking Concepts & Tools, 7th edition

Author: Richard Paul and Linda Elder
Publisher: Foundation for Critical Thinking
Copyright: 2016
Pages: 24
Dimensions: 4" x 51/2"
ISBN: 978-0-9857544-0-2

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Limited desk copies available for educators in paper format. Please email to inquire.

This miniature guide, which has sold more than half a million copies, is widely used in teaching and learning, in personal and professional life. It distills the essence of critical thinking into a 24-page, pocket-sized guide. It introduces the interrelated complex of critical thinking concepts and principles implicit in the works of Richard Paul and Linda Elder. This guide is widely used at the college level. It can be used as a critical thinking supplement to any textbook or course.

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The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking Concepts & Tools, 7th edition

Critical Thinking 

Everyone thinks; it is our nature to do so. But much of our thinking, left to itself, is biased, distorted, partial, uninformed or down-right prejudiced. Yet the quality of our life and that of what we produce, make, or build depends precisely on the quality of our thought. Shoddy thinking is costly, both in money and in quality of life. Excellence in thought, however, must be systematically cultivated. 


Critical thinking is the art of analyzing and evaluating thinking with a view to improving it. Critical thinking is self-directed, self-disciplined, self-monitored, and self-corrective thinking. It requires rigorous standards of excellence and mindful command of their use. It entails effective communication and problem-solving abilities and a commitment to overcoming our native egocentrism and sociocentrism.


Concepts and Tools

This miniature guide focuses on of the essence of critical thinking concepts and tools distilled into pocket size. For faculty, it provides a shared concept of critical thinking. For students, it is a critical thinking supplement to any textbook for any course. Faculty can use it to design instruction, assignments, and tests in any subject. Students can use it to improve their learning in any content area. It's generic skills apply to all subjects. For example, critical thinkers are clear as to the purpose at hand and the question at issue. They question information, conclusions, and points of view. They strive to be clear, accurate, precise, and relevant. They seek to think beneath the surface, to be logical, and fair. They apply these skills to their reading and writing as well as to their speaking and listening. They apply them in history, science, math, philosophy, and the arts; in professional and personal life.

Contents Include:

  • Why Critical Thinking
  • The Elements of Thought
  • A Checklist for Reasoning
  • Questions Using the Elements of Thought
  • Criteria for Evaluating Reasoning
  • Universal Intellectual Standards
  • Analyze the Logic of Articles and Textbooks
  • The Problem of Egocentric Thinking
  • Intellectual Traits
  • Three Kinds of Questions
  • A Template for Problem-Solving
  • A Checklist for Assessment
  • What Critical Thinkers Routinely Do
  • Stages of Critical Thinking Development