Arguments are meant to be persuasive—that means the facts and figures presented in their favor might be lacking in context or come from questionable sources.
The best way to combat this is independent verification; find the source of the information and evaluate.
In fact, lacking such skills can truly make or break a person’s career, as the consequences of one’s inability to process and analyze information effectively can be massive.
“The ability to think critically is more important now than it has ever been,” urges Kris Potrafka, founder and CEO of Music Firsthand.
Critical thinking is a skill that allows you to make logical and informed decisions to the best of your ability.
For example, a child who has not yet developed such skills might believe the Tooth Fairy left money under their pillow based on stories their parents told them.
Developing your critical thinking skills is something that takes concentrated work.
It can be best to begin by exploring the definition of critical thinking and the skills it includes—once you do, you can then venture toward the crucial question at hand: How can I improve?
“Have the courage to debate and argue with your own thoughts and assumptions,” Potrafka encourages.
“This is essential for learning to see things from different viewpoints.” How to improve: “Challenge yourself to identify the evidence that forms your beliefs, and assess whether or not your sources are credible,” offers Ruth Wilson, director of development at Brightmont Academy.