How to develop critical thinking skills through essay writing 

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Have you ever thought why professors should only appraise students’ understanding of concepts taught in class through continuous assessment tests (CATs) and exams? Usually, such questions and related ones often transpire when you have a backlog of assignments and homework. For example, if you’re pursuing a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) program, you might wonder why you should do courses or units in English 101 and/or 102, communication skills, and entrepreneurship to the extent of writing essays and research papers. Rather than helping you develop professional expertise such as writing cover letters and Resumes/ curriculum vitae, these disciplines contribute to you developing critical thinking. 

Nevertheless, how can essay writing help you rational reason for whatever you say, hear, or write if you struggle with doing non-technical assignments and research papers? In such a case, you don’t need to worry, especially with unlimited solutions on the Internet. For instance, you can google “professional essay writing service” to hire a specialist from EssayLib, who would be responsible for providing you with custom samples. You can use the materials you would have purchased not only to learn about logically putting down ideas on paper but also to make your college life easy. Besides the non-technical assistance you’ll receive, you can get reference materials in programming and calculations.  

4 ways essay writing will develop your critical thinking 

1. Rely on scholarly sources 

If you read an essay completed with blogs and one that integrates journals, chapters of the book, and industrial reports, which of the two would be rich in ideas? Without a doubt, any scholar will appreciate the knowledge communicated in the latter. For example, when a journal presents the efficacy of a placebo drug on a patient with a life-threatening lifestyle disease like obesity, it will explain research on how it alleviates symptoms and corrects anatomical or physiological aberrants. However, such a study will indicate limitations on the medicine. For example, it might not be effective in pediatric patients. This information would provoke your critical thinking to the extent of including your verdict, like “an underlying rationale could be an underdeveloped immune system required to work with the drug.” Surprisingly, you can get an idea of conducting a scientific exploration upon noticing gaps and knowledge deficits.  

2. Refrain from unnecessary description  

When your professor informs you to argue “whether outsourcing of labor is ethically right or not,” how will you approach this question in your essay to boost your critical thinking? Even before answering this question, think about students who search for information on the Internet and start writing. In most cases, you’ll realize that they will begin describing how US companies that outsourced labor globally found them in unending litigation for violating established ethical policies. Whereas such an essay might have answered the question, it doesn’t contribute to knowledge progression. So, how can one avoid unnecessary descriptions of “whether outsourcing of labor is ethically right or not?” 

Ideally, you have a lot of angles to approach such a question. For example, you might rely on scholarly sources highlighting a US company outsourcing labor from specific countries. You can also identify a firm(s) retailing or wholesaling the same or substitute product as the one depending on foreign workforces. In this case, you can argue that outsourcing promotes unethical competition as it might lower the prices of its commodities. As a consequence, the one that doesn’t use foreign might shut down its operations even though it employs Americans. This simple explanation shows how opting to analyze rather than provide a general description stimulates critical thinking! 

3. Take advantage of the counterargument approach 

If you want to write an essay about “the implications of banning the use of polythene bags,” what comes to your mind? A significant proportion of students would focus on how this policy would contribute to improving the environment or reducing pollution. Of course, you’ll find a myriad of information supporting such an argument. For example, some sources would indicate that since these polythene papers don’t decompose, they tend to scatter when blown by the wind, creating an unpleasant environment. Of course, you’ll score with such points, but you won’t develop critical thinking skills. So, who can apply the counterargument approach? 

In one of the body paragraphs, you can state a controversial topic sentence, such as “The banning of polythene bags would reduce government revenue.” In this case, some can argue that the authorities spent a significant proportion of their budget cleaning the environment. However, you can raise a valid point of how the government collects corporate taxes and pays as you earn (PAYE) from companies and employees who produce polythene papers. What’s more, firms responsible for managing litters remunerate taxes. Such a counterargument approach indicates how you’ve developed critical thinking. 

4. Challenge authors’ arguments 

Whereas incorporating ideas from different sources boosts knowledge in your essay, it might be similar to intentional plagiarism, especially when you use a single source. In other words, it can be the same as paraphrasing your classmates’ work assignment and submitting it. So, who can make it differently? You should challenge the authors’ arguments. For example, if the source said that “the company made a dollar million profit in the ended financial year, making 5% increment from the previous year.” You can challenge this argument by saying that earnings per share remained the same even with the recorded upsurge in net income. This approach will increase your critical thinking on the view of profitability between internal and external stakeholders. 

In retrospect, you shouldn’t take essays as an opportunity to summarize previously written ideas. However, capitalize on this opportunity to expand your knowledge, challenge the existing status quo, and progress your knowledge in any discipline.  

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