Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

SLS1125 | Professor Lockamy

These Open Educational Resources (OER) serve as the textbook for students of Professor Lockamy's SLS1125.

Critical Thinking

Critical Thinking Reading List

Critical thinking is a skill that students develop gradually as they progress in school. This skill becomes more important in higher grades, but some students find it difficult to understand the concept of critical thinking.

The concept can be difficult to grasp because it requires students to set aside assumptions and beliefs to think without bias or judgment. That is difficult to do!

Critical thinking involves suspending your beliefs to explore and question topics from a "blank page" point of view. It also involves the ability to know fact from opinion when exploring a topic.

From About Education, Critical Thinking Exercises


Arguing for the importance of teaching critical thinking in college: The Huffington Post - Critical Thinking Is Essential in Every College Class

Exercises

These exercises are designed to help you develop critical thinking skills.

Resources

Critical Reasoning for Beginners courses from the University of Oxford

Active Listening Viewing List
Exercises

Read the article, "What Great Listeners Actually Do" by Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman for the Harvard Business Review and in a blog post discuss which level of listening you could improve.

Level 1: Create a safe environment for the speaker.

Level 2: Avoid distractions, such as cell phones.

Level 3: Restate and ask questions in order to avoid misinterpretation.

Level 4: Observe body language and other nonverbal cues.

Level 5: Acknowledge and empathize without judgment.

Level 6: Offer thoughts, ideas, and/or suggestions in order to present the issue from a different perspective.

Active Reading Reading | Viewing List

Strategies:

  • Ask yourself pre-reading questions. 

  • Identify and define any unfamiliar terms.

  • Bracket the main idea or thesis of the reading, and put an asterisk next to it. 

  • Put down your highlighter. Make marginal notes or comments instead.

  • Write questions in the margins, and then answer the questions in a reading journal or on a separate piece of paper.

  • Make outlines, flow charts, or diagrams that help you to map and to understand ideas visually.

  • Read each paragraph carefully and then determine “what it says” and “what it does.” Answer “what it says” in only one sentence.

  • Write a summary of an essay or chapter in your own words. 

  • Write your own exam question based on a reading.

Read more about these strategies along with diagrams on The McGraw Center for Teaching & Learning's "Active Reading Strategies: Remember and Analyze What You Read".


Examples:

Textbook reading notes

Novel reading note taking

Exercises

Implement one or more of the suggested active reading strategies in your reading (either assigned or for leisure) and share a picture in a blog post describing which strategy you implemented and how it helped you become a more active reader.

Mindfulness | Being Present Viewing List

"When is the last time you did absolutely nothing for 10 whole minutes? Not texting, talking or even thinking? Mindfulness expert Andy Puddicombe describes the transformative power of doing just that: Refreshing your mind for 10 minutes a day, simply by being mindful and experiencing the present moment (No need for incense or sitting in uncomfortable positions)".