Critical thinking is a term that can be heard everywhere, but many people do not stop to think about what it means or how to apply it. Instead of adopting the process of critical thinking, the average person massively ignores it. The definition of “Critical Thinking” is “the objective analysis and evaluation of an issue to form a judgment” in Oxford Living Dictionaries (2019). Although there are many overlapping definitions with experts interpreting this term differently through their unique perspectives, each individual must comprehend the importance of critical thinking to live in today’s information-based society. An individual should not simply accept all the statements to which he/she is exposed. In the YouTube video entitled “How Meghan Markle Became an Advocate for Women at 11 Years Old” (A Plus, 2017) Ms. Markle mentions an advertisement for a dishwashing liquid with the tagline “women all over America are fighting greasy pots and pans,” which implies that women stereotypically belong in the kitchen. Ms. Markle discusses how she thinks this is not right, feels hurt, and considers that something needs to be done; in essence, she provides a critical perspective of the commercial. After her protest to the soap company, the manufacturer admits its prejudice against sexual discrimination. This example demonstrates that critical thinking is not intrinsic, critical thinking in everyday life; is a skill that must be learned, trained, and practiced repeatedly. In general, the application of critical thinking can be reflected in the academic community, work environment, and society overall.
In academia, reading, writing, speaking, and listening all require the skill of critical thinking. As Dr. Wright (2019) mentioned (it’s not the same professor, and this professor is from another institution who teaches English literature. Do you think it’s better not to cite another instructor? )in class, “to demonstrate as an academic member, students need to start reading carefully, critically comparing the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of different techniques in the reading, writing essays supported by authoritative evidence, and paying more attention in documenting and referencing sources.” However, it is not easy to think critically without prejudice. The presenters from the Foundation for Critical Thinking (2018) point out that “[m]uch of our thinking, left to itself, is biased, distorted, partial, uninformed or down-right prejudiced.”. To rid themselves of this prejudgment, students need to continue thinking. The act of thinking critically guides students to question the information presented to them based on their knowledge, which encourages them to draft essays and papers without personal prejudice or societal bias. Successful critical thinker questions perceived knowledge, contradicts any rumors, looks for scientific evidence, and tests the reliability of all sources. (I remember here is from one website, but I can’t find the exact website address. So I rephrased this sentence. Or, how can I change words to make it as a new sentence with the same meaning. )While reading, if “…sources are not equally valid or equally useful, you must learn to distinguish critically among them by evaluating them” (Behrens & Rosen, 2006). The practice can begin with two manners of thinking about the materials: the author’s purpose and the explanation of the agreement/disagreement (Behrens & Rosen, 2006). To explain, in determining an author’s purpose, the process that can be taken is to identify the main point, assess the validity of the argument, investigate how the key terms are defined, determine whether the argument sounds logical, and so on (Behrens & Rosen, 2006). Concurrently, the reader must engage in the analysis, visualize the relationships through thinking, and elaborate on experiences to respond to an agreement and/or disagreement in writing (Behrens & Rosen, 2006). This is the same for listening and speaking. For example, while listening to a TED talk, we can choose to evaluate the quality of new information or question whether we believe the speakers are leaving creative thinking to the audience. This can be seen in the last sentence of Cameron’s (1989) article “Our Daughters, Ourselves,” which reads, “[w]hat is worse, is that we are not surprised,” (p. D8) leaving an ironic fact to raise the awareness of this public issue. Therefore, creative thinking is a basic requirement for students to engage in academic studies, and it can also be an invaluable skill in many workplace scenarios.
Finally, critical thinking can be used in the workplace in many ways, depending on the industry. Staff members can promote their organizations’ position through opportunities for profits, vigorous expansion, or merchandise development through competition, practices, and evaluations. Yet, no matter the position in any field, everyone has the same responsibility to his or her job role and responsibilities. Employees must be educated in their obligation to learn the rules during probation or training and continue to follow those rules during their tenure of employment. A manager could utilize his or her critical thinking skills, and critical thinking in everyday life to assess a staff member’s ability, working attitude, or resilience in times of crisis.