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Analytical and critical thinking are skills we use to understand and form opinions about complicated issues. We use...
Analytical and critical thinking are skills we use to understand and form opinions about complicated issues. We use our analytical skills to problem-solve by applying our knowledge and logical reasoning to issues of varying complexity. These skills are valuable in both academic and practical settings, and they can be developed and improved with practice.
“It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer.”
Here are five tips to help you improve your analytical thinking:
1. Remove the blocks to critical thinking by examining all aspects of a subject or problem, identifying key details, and then questioning everything. This includes challenging established ideas, conventional thinking, and even your own reasoning process. These are some of the tips that University College London offers its students about critical and analytical thinking.
2. Follow fundamental steps when analysing something: first, identify and define the problem. Next, examine your options. Create a plan, and then put that plan into action. Lastly,look at the results. To put it another way: evaluate, manage, decide, resolve, and examine.
3. Exercise your mind to sharpen your skills. Play mentally challenging games like chess and Sudoku, or try to solve difficult crossword puzzles. Complex computer games are also good practice, as is any hobby or activity that involves actively applying your knowledge, logic, and/or problem solving skills.
4. Write! A 2007 study on college level biology students showed that those whose education contained more writing than traditional science laboratory courses experienced improved critical thinking skills. When compared to the students in the traditional quiz-based course, the writing group showed significantly better analytical and inferential skills, as well as gains in evaluation skills.
5. Take your time. Follow Albert Einstein’s advice, and be patient. Don’t jump to conclusions. Observe carefully, and pay attention to every detail, no matter how small or apparently insignificant. Practice these techniques in everyday life, whether while reading the paper or shopping. They are guaranteed to sharpen your analytical skills.