Critical thinking is not only a skill, it is a personality trait. However, it can be learned or developed through different practices. Our education system is not enough source to develop this trait in students. So, if you want to be a critical thinker, you will have to put in your own efforts. Here are a few tips to improve your critical thinking. 

Reading diversely 

Reading is the key to opening your mind and developing mature ideas. You learn from multiple resources but reading gives you exposure to the whole world by sitting in your home. If you want to be a critical thinker, the first habit you should have is that of reading. There is no restriction on what you should read. Read fiction, non-fiction, history, philosophy, or anything you like. Different ideas and writers give you food for your thoughts. This stimulates us to think about them. Moreover, when you are supposed to give your point of view on something, you have different dimensions to think over it. Thus, you come up with an idea that people generally do not have. 

Writing your thoughts

Experts call writing a very effective way of improving critical thinking. When you write down your thoughts, you see them more clearly. You can also see them from other people’s perspectives. Let’s suppose you have a thought in your mind and believe it is perfect. But you are unable to convince others over it or others are unable to understand your point of view. This means you are lacking somewhere. Writing them down will give you an idea about it and add to your clarity. Thus, it is an excellent way of improving your critical thinking abilities by evaluating yourself.

Challenging your thoughts

Never stick to any one idea as the ultimate point. Make it a habit to challenge everything around you. Shattering your existing beliefs and then building new ones on your own is the philosopher’s way of developing new ideas and thinking about them critically. Challenging your ideas will give make you think about them critically. Gradually you start looking at everything critically. Moreover, when you realize no idea is perfect and everything can be looked at from an eye of doubt, you start giving everyone’s point of view an equal space. 

Participating in discussions and debates

Knowledge is of no use until it is channelized. Not only that it is not benefitting others, but it will become outdated for you, too. It has to be discussed, tested, and reviewed. This is the only way it will improve your thoughts. Debates and discussions are a very healthy way of developing critical thinking capabilities. If you do not have a suitable company or environment to discuss your ideas, start participating in parliamentary debates. Every university has this society and it is one of the best intellectual activities a university can offer.    

Never judging or deciding at the first moment

One of the most important habits that you need to have in order to be a good critical thinker is to never give your decision at the first moment. You must have seen people who think they already know about everything. Do you want to be one of them? Well, if you want to be a critical thinker, you should not be any of such persons. Since critical thinker believes in thinking about everything before agreeing or giving the final verdict, they cannot just give their point of view in the very first moment. Take your time, read on it, think about it, and discuss it with other people to come up with a fair perspective.  

Make a diverse company

Friends play an outstanding role in making your personality. If you have people who are not interested in talking about important ideas or thinking about them, you are probably going to end up being one of them. However, if you have people who read and like to discuss bigger ideas, you are going to have a challenging company where you learn a lot. Likewise, if you get a chance, make friends who belong to different backgrounds and have different ideologies. This way you are more likely to think about them, understand them, add to your knowledge and your critical thinking skills.

Author

Ayesha Areej is a staff writer at The Academia Magazine

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