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Critical Analysis

One of the most important skills you will need to learn as a student, whatever your discipline, is the ability to read, think and write critically and objectively about an issue and to present a well-constructed argument.  Critical and analytical-thinking skills such as these will be essential to most aspects of study, whether you are listening to lectures, contributing to seminars, or reading about your subject.  Here, we provide a selection of resources focusing mainly on critical analysis for written work, as nothing gains or loses marks more for most student assignments than the quality of your written argument.

Remember, you can book a one-to-one appointment with Helen or Cherie to discuss any aspect of critical reading, thinking and writing. See main Study Skills page for details.

Descriptive writing vs critical writing

Critical thinking checklist

Three Domains of Critical Reading worksheet

Links to quality online resources:

Manchester Phrasebank – Being Critical

University of Plymouth – Model_To_Generate_Critical_Thinking

Excellent resources from the Skills Team at University of Hull – Home – Critical writing – Library at University of Hull

Specific to writing at Level 6

University of Reading – Writing at level 6 – CIPPET Study Support – LibGuides at University of Reading

University of Hertfordshire – Microsoft Word – Examples-of-level-6-writing.docx (herts.ac.uk)

Books – a selection.

Cooper, H. & Shoolbred, M. (2016). Where’s your argument?  Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. HE Library classification 808.066 COO

Cottrell, S. (2017) Critical thinking skills: effective analysis, argument and reflection. (3rd ed.). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan HE Library classification 160 COT

Hughes, W. & Lavery, J. (2008). Critical thinking: an introduction to the basic skills. (5th ed.). Toronto: Broadview Press. HE library classification 160 HUG

Williams, K. (2009). Getting critical. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. HE Library classification 160 WIL



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