How to Improve your Critical Thinking & Reflective Skills

Prentice Hall
Kathleen McMillan / Jonathan Weyers  
Total pages
October 2012
Related Titles

Product detail

Product Price CHF Available  
How to Improve your Critical Thinking & Reflective Skills
18.30 approx. 7-9 days

Free evaluation copy for lecturers


New to the highly successful Smarter Study Skills series comes this essential guide to thinking and writing critically.

This easy-to-use guide identifies and addresses the key areas where most students need help in developing and enhancing the critical thinking and writing skills that are crucial to successful academic study, and provides practical tips and solutions. The authors use real life examples to illustrate common mistakes and demonstrate how to avoid them. They provide solid advice on enhancing analytical and argumentation skills by adopting best practice with critical thinking and reflective writing.


· Tips, examples, checklists, ‘Try This’ boxes, 2 colour design.

· A common sense, no-nonsense approach that gives students immediate access to the information they need. Relevant content with a focus on key issues and instant solutions.

· Each topic is matched to an issue, event or assignment that the student will want to read up on at a time of need.

· Annotated table of contents to help readers find exactly what they need.


Table of Contents


1. Key concepts and processes - how thinking, reflection and creativity involve important skills

Key approaches to thinking

2. Critical thinking - how to develop a logical approach to analysis and problem-solving

3. Reflective thinking - how to evaluate your feelings in academic contexts

4. Creative thinking - how to generate innovative and original ideas

Critical thinking in practice

5. Arriving at a viewpoint - how to sift fact and opinion to arrive at a position on a topic

6. Supporting and opposing an argument - how to express your point of view through discussion and debate

7. Interpreting and manipulating data - how to approach graphs, tables, formulae and basic statistics

8. Decision-making and work-planning - how to make choices, plan ahead and prioritise

9. Group effort and collaboration - how to enhance your contribution to teamwork

Evaluating the ideas of others

10.   Evaluating information sources - how to filter and select reliable material

11.   Effective academic reading - how to read efficiently and with understanding

12.   Note-making from texts - how to create effective notes for later reference

13.   Plagiarism and copyright infringement - how to avoid being accused of 'stealing' the ideas and work of others

14.   Citing and listing references  - how to refer appropriately to the work of others

Putting your thinking into words

15.   Tackling a writing assignment - how to respond to the specified task

16.   Academic writing style - how to adopt appropriate language conventions

17.   General writing structures – how to select and shape your content appropriately

18.   Writing about reflection - how to structure and report your thoughts

19.   Editing and presenting your assignment - how to review your own work and follow academic conventions

Forward thinking

20.   Exploiting feedback - how to learn from what lecturers think of your work

21.   Preparing for employment- how to transfer your thinking skills to a career

Back Cover

Is there a secret to successful study? The answer is ‘yes’! There are some essential skills and smart strategies that will help you to improve your results at university.

This easy-to-use guide gives insights into the essential skills of critical thinking that are required for university: straightforward, practical tips and strategies that will enable you to think methodically, reflectively and creatively.

HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR CRITICAL THINKING AND REFLECTIVE SKILLS provides tips, tools and techniques for skills you will need to perform with excellence, including how to:

·   adopt a logical approach to issues and problems

·   assess your thoughts

·   generate original ideas

·   arrive at a viewpoint and defend it

·   interpret data

·   analyse the ideas of others

·   make decisions and prioritise action

·   think as part of a team

·   put your own thoughts into words

·   exploit feedback from lecturers

·   transfer your thinking skills to a career

Visit to access a wealth of useful information, tips, templates and interactive activities that will support your skills development.


Kathleen McMillan and Jonathan Weyers work within the University of Dundee’s Learning Centre and Academic Affairs Office respectively and have each been teaching for over 25 years and now specialize in supporting academic skills across both the arts and sciences.

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