Standards for Critical Thinking
We cannot determine anything meaningful about an unclear statement.
- Could you elaborate further?
- Could you give me an example?
Statements may be clear but not in accordance with reality.
- Is this really true?
- How could we verify this?
Statements may be clear and accurate but not precise.
- Could you give me more details?
- Could you be more specific?
Statements may be clear, accurate, and precise but not relevant to the issue.
- How is this connected to the question?
- How does this help solve the problem?
Statements may satisfy the above standards but be superficial.
- Does this treat the complexities of the issue?
- Does this consider root causes?
Statements may satisfy the above standards but be too narrow.
- How else could we look at this?
- How would a different viewpoint present it?
Statements should be mutually supporting and make sense in combination.[bullet_block large_icon="27.png" width="" alignment="center"]
- How does this follow from the evidence?
- Are we accepting a fallacy?
Statements should prioritize important information and focus on it.
- Which of these facts are most important?
- Is this the central idea to focus on?
Statements should be justifiable (fair in context) in accord with reason.
- Do I have a vested interest?
- Am I applying critical thinking standards to myself?
Adapted from Paul, Dr. Richard; Elder, Dr. Linda. (2002) Critical Thinking. New Jersey: Financial Times Prentice Hall, p. 97-110