Critical thinking in scholarly writing

Building your critical thinking capacity is an essential tool when you write scholarly articles. There are several steps you should take into consideration in the process of designing a scientifically based piece of writing.

Firstly, you should have a solid base of knowledge through reading various sources connected to the topic you are referring to. This will help you identify the essence of the issue which is to be discussed further in the essay. Misinterpretation of titles may lead to losing the main idea elaborated in the main part of your writing. For example, if the question you need to address is “We are all middle class, are we?”, it  may suggest two assumptions. One point may be that we all belong to one class and the second meaning it is the middle class at which the leveling takes place. Once you have clarified the issue well you are ready to implement the critical dimension to meet the requirements of successful writing.

As you need to provide a comprehensive answer on the issue it is important that you stand outside your world and view and examine the given issue with new eyes. You may be asked to question habits, values and attitudes which you may have taken for granted, or you may have preconceived views, even prejudices towards certain phenomena you thought were correct. Though, as a scholar, you should examine assumptions with new perspectives. In your efforts to avoid judgmental attitudes, you search for different authors and explanations in order to develop your views. Moreover, the more you support your views the better you will introduce the subject and draw a final conclusion.

The evidence to support your views or arguments may come from your studies, a theory or scientific research. For example, your argument that `Language acquisition starts at very early age` may be supported by evidence from a scientist: `Chomsky believes that children are born with an inherited ability to learn any human language`. Additionally, it is crucial that you give your own examples which show that you have understood the concept. You must remember that arguments are supported by examples, not induced from the examples. Speaking of the concept of socialization, you may present your view on how particular life stages affect socialization. For example, `Adolescence is the time when significant multiple changes take place with the individual`. You may support your argument by referring to scientists in general: `Sociologists emphasize the role of the peer group as influential to for the social and emotional development of the person`. Giving theoretical support to your essay means that you have a deep insight of the issues you are addressing. Providing your own examples is another tool for highlighting your views and ideas and illustrate that you have internalized the concept or issue.  They may come from sources you have found, the media or a book.

No matter how tough job scholarly writing seems to be, we can learn how to overcome the fears of looking into a blank page waiting to be filled with thousands of words. We may not reach R.W. Emerson`s brilliance, but we can learn the skill, just like any other.

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