Critical Thinking Handbook

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Facts are pieces of information that you can verify as true.

Opinions are personal views or beliefs that may have very little grounding in fact.

Since opinions are often put forth as if they were facts, they can be challenging to recognize as opinions.

That’s where critical thinkers tend to keep questioning.

“Critical thinking” has been a common phrase in education for more than a quarter century, but it can be a slippery concept to define.

Perhaps because “critical” is an adjective with certain negative connotations (e.g., “You don’t have to be so critical” or “Everybody’s a critic”), people sometimes think that critical thinking is a fault-finding exercise or that there is nothing creative about it.

The background of a variety of educational approaches will be explored to clarify what teaching and learning thinking might mean.

The approaches examined will be applicable across the disciplines and in different educational contexts.

Critical thinkers recognize that much of the information they read and hear is a combination of fact and opinion.

To be successful in college, you will have to learn to differentiate between fact and opinion through logic, questioning, and verification.


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