Critical thinking is a process. The more one engages in the process, the more one can overcome weaknesses in the process. Titus, 2012, states that critical thinking involves six core components. To become a critical thinker, one needs to know and understand them. They include inference, interpretation, explanation, evaluation, analysis, and interpretation.
According to Titus, 2012:
- When you read information, you must be able to interpret what you have read. Take notes when reading so that you can look back on the key components. By doing this, you can gain a better understanding of the material you need to interpret.
- Analysis is performed by connecting the new information pieces, much the same as putting a puzzle together. Look for the meaning in the words.
- Inference involves finding clues to understand the material. When you read something, the true information may seem hidden. You have to look at the clues and put them together to make an inference. If I wrote, the boys put their raincoats on to avoid getting wet, you can look at the clues and make the inference that it is raining.
- Evaluation is used to determine if the resources that you have are valid or if you need to find more information from reliable resources. When writing, you would want to use scholarly articles to support your writing.
- Explanation implies that you can repeat the information by providing feedback. Practice summarizing the information and compare what you have written to what is said by the author.
- Self-regulation involves looking back on your skills. Don't just assume that you can think critically.
Look at the skills you may be missing and practice acquiring the skills through purposeful activities that will enable you to expand your skills in one area or another.