Critical Thinking Reflective Writing Essays

Critical thinking reflection paper is probably one of the most difficult tasks any student can get, because it involves multiple skills and processes, so you need to possess profound knowledge if you want to succeed in completing such sort of paper.

Once in a while we all hear how critical thinking is important in our daily life. It gives us a chance to evaluate the situation, reflect on possible outcome and manage all the material without prejudices. That is why most of the students find it difficult to process the information instead of simply rewriting the data from the books.

Critical thinking paper aims at showing student’s stream of thoughts instead of focusing on the structure or usefulness of facts. This type of assignment is given to show how author’s opinion changes, as new data appears. For example, you can support the idea of gun permission at first but change your mind as new sources are processed.

Critical thinking skill is difficult to master and it is impossible to write a proper essay without previous experience, so more and more students decide to turn to a writing company for help and forget about stress and missing the deadlines.

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How to write a college critical thinking essay

It is quite difficult to write critical thinking paper and you need to follow multiple rules to make sure that your assignment is completed according to all the guidelines and recommendations. However, it is not an impossible task and here are a few tips, which will help you complete an outstanding critical thinking paper:

  • Create a thesis. Your whole work will be based on this idea, so you need to spend some time on deciding what you want to write about. There are multiple critical thinking research paper topics, so the best way to create a great paper is to think thoroughly on the subject you want to discuss;
  • Develop an outline. It will greatly help you throughout the process, because informal thinking essays are hard to shape according to a structure or plan. You can use lists, mind maps or any other ways of creating an outline;
  • Write an outstanding introduction. It is quite difficult to grab reader’s attention and involve him into the subject, so you need to avoid clichés to make sure that your paper is worth reading. Write a paragraph or two on the main idea of the essay and try to grab reader’s interest with fresh ideas;
  • Write body paragraphs, following a clear structure. Every paragraph should be devoted to a particular idea or thought, supported by data, numbers or quotes;
  • Come up with a strong conclusion. Take your time to go through your critical thinking essay again and catch its overall idea. Then write a paragraph or two, encouraging the reader to action or showing how the topic may influence their lives.

Critical thinking paper format

Writing a critical thinking essay slightly differs from the other types of assignments, so you should pay attention to the main criteria and the structure of the paper to avoid common mistakes. First, you need to remember that an essay is usually shorter, so you won’t have a chance to let your thoughts wander and hop from one topic to another. Be brief and precise.

Critical essays usually follow the same structure:

  • Introduction, which explains the topic and is one/two paragraphs long;
  • Body of an essay, which should contain as many paragraphs as needed to support your idea and provide all the arguments. Here you need to show the knowledge of the subject, discuss various approaches to the topic, based on researched material and outline main problems in the area. Make sure your research does not contain incomplete or contradictory data. Eventually, explain how the research has influenced your thoughts;
  • Conclusion, which should consist of one or two paragraphs and contain general information on the main ideas of your essay.

A great way to form a proper argumentative essay is to treat it like a debate or conversation, when you need to assert your point of view. In such a way, you will be able to see your strong and weak points, as well as to avoid complexity of the construction.

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[MUSIC]

Hi there, in this lesson we're going to discuss the idea of reflective writing.

First, we'll define what it is, and then explore the idea of critical

reflective writing at university using an example.

In order to discuss what reflective writing is,

it's useful to first define what we mean by reflection.

Mezirow suggests that reflection is a turning back on experience.

That is, we engage in reflection whenever we think back on or about an event or

an experience, or even when we engage with the simple awareness of an object.

That means actively thinking about what we've learned and the process of learning.

When we engage in this kind of reflection,

we're doing what Flavel would classify as metacognition.

We're gaining an awareness and

understanding of our own process of learning.

Another way to think of this is that it is, in part, critical self reflection.

We think about how we think.

So how, when, and why do we use reflection at university?

Firstly, reflection can be a study habit for individual students.

In fact, Mezirow suggests that critical reflection is a cornerstone of

adult learning, and key to being able to think independently.

This means that you, as a student,

critically reflect both on what you've learned and how you're learning.

You could reflect on anything, from your study habits, to the way your ideas and

attitudes are changing, or the gaps in your knowledge or

skills that you need to fill.

This kind of reflection, or

metacognition, encourages learner autonomy and will make you a better learner.

Boyd and Fales suggest that reflection occurs

when you think about an experience or event that revealed an area of concern.

For example, for a medical student, the experience might a clinical error

that might have revealed a lack of knowledge about a disease.

Or it might have uncovered a personal assumption or

bias that a student had towards a patient.

It might even highlight a personal tendency,

such as being too quick to jump to conclusions.

Reflecting on the experience and

area of concern thus enables you to better understand yourself and

your own gaps in knowledge, assumptions, and biases or thought processes.

Next, in the significance stage, you analyze why it happened.

You might draw on or question prior learning or relevant theory and

research in order to contextualize the concern.

If, for example, it was revealed that the medical student made an error due to

a lack of knowledge about a particular disease, they would then need to discuss

how they would overcome this difficulty in the future.

Simply looking up and

learning more about the particular disease doesn't solve the core problem.

It is impractical to assume that medical professions

will know everything about every disease and medication.

So, a good perfection would also discuss this issue, and

then consult theory and research into how medical professionals overcome it.

Of course, this is usually a difficult process.

You need to be honest about your failings,

to admit faults, or things you find particularly difficult.

As Brookfield suggests,

becoming aware of the implicit assumptions that frame how we think and act

is one of the most puzzling intellectual challenges we face in our lives.

In this way, reflective writing is both subjective and objective.

It's subjective because you're talking about your personal experiences,

thoughts, beliefs, and opinions, and you often use I.

On the other hand, it's objective because you need to treat those experiences,

thoughts, beliefs and opinions like any other argument.

Something that can be analyzed and deconstructed to reveal new truths.

And finally, while the written aspect to a reflection is probably more particular to

universities, critical reflection is definitely not.

Some of the most common interview questions for jobs are focused on

identifying personal strengths and weaknesses, successes and failures.

In fact, look at any advice page for interviews, and

you'll find people stressing the need to find examples of specific instances.

How you dealt with them, and what you've learned about

dealing with those situations, about yourself or about the field.

While you may not need to draw on theory and

research to back up what you're saying, the principle is still the same.

You need to be critically reflective.

Of course, this is something that applies to all the skills we've been discussing on

this course.

Being a critical and reflective thinker is not just a hat you put on

when you walk into a tutorial or a lecture hall.

It's something that you are and do every time you engage with new information or

a new argument.

Whether it's published in an academic journal article,

a friend's social media post, or a tabloid magazine.

Using these skills is how we grow and learn throughout our whole lives.

[MUSIC]

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