Conditions of Use
This book provides a comprehensive yet easily comprehensible introduction to critical thinking in academic research. The author lays a foundation with an introduction to the concepts of critical thinking and analyzing and making arguments, and... read more
This book provides a comprehensive yet easily comprehensible introduction to critical thinking in academic research. The author lays a foundation with an introduction to the concepts of critical thinking and analyzing and making arguments, and then moves into the details of developing research questions and identifying and appropriately using research sources. There are many wonderful links to other open access publications for those who wish to read more or go deeper.
The content of the book appears to be accurate and free of bias.
The examples used throughout the book are relevant and up-to-date, making it easy to see how to apply the concepts in real life.
The text is very accessibly written and the content is presented in a simple, yet powerful way that helps the reader grasp the concepts easily. There are many short, interactive exercises scattered throughout each chapter of the book so that the reader can test their own knowledge as they go along. It would be even better if the author had provided some simple feedback explaining why quiz answers are correct or incorrect in order to bolster learning, but this is a very minor point and the interactive exercises still work well without this.
The book appears consistent throughout with regard to use of terminology and tone of writing. The basic concepts introduced in the early chapters are used consistently throughout the later chapters.
This book has been wonderfully designed into bite sized chunks that do not overwhelm the reader. This is perhaps its best feature, as this encourages the reader to take in a bit of information, digest it, check their understanding of it, and then move on to the next concept. I loved this!
The book is organized in a manner that introduces the basic architecture of critical thinking first, and then moves on to apply it to the subject of academic research. While the entire book would be helpful for college students (undergraduates particularly), the earlier chapters on critical thinking and argumentation also stand well on their own and would be of great utility to students in general.
This book was extremely easy to navigate with a clear, drop down list of chapters and subheadings on the left side of the screen. When the reader clicks on links to additional material, these open up in a new tab which keeps things clear and organized. Images and charts were clear and the overall organization is very easy to follow.
I came across no grammatical errors in the text.
This is perhaps an area where the book could do a little more. I did not come across anything that seemed culturally insensitive or offensive but on the other hand, the book might have taken more opportunities to represent a greater diversity of races, ethnicities, and backgrounds.
This book seems tailor made for undergraduate college students and I would highly recommend it. I think it has some use for graduate students as well, although some of the examples are perhaps little basic for this purpose. As well as using this book to guide students on doing academic research, I think it could also be used as a very helpful introduction to the concept of critical thinking by focusing solely on chapters 1-4.
Table of Contents
- I. What is Critical Thinking?
- II. Barriers to Critical Thinking
- III. Analyzing Arguments
- IV. Making an Argument
- V. Research Questions
- VI. Sources and Information Needs
- VII. Types of Sources
- VIII. Precision Searching
- IX. Evaluating Sources
- X. Ethical Use and Citing Sources
- XI. Copyright Basics
- Works Cited
- About the Authors
About the Book
Critical Thinking in Academic Research will introduce students to the techniques and principles of critical thinking. However, a commitment to lifelong learning is required for critical thinking, it takes more than a single course or reading a book. In order for students to develop their own arguments, they need to find supporting evidence. This text provides guidance on developing research questions and finding resources to answer the questions.
This textbook is adapted from four sources. Choosing and Using Sources: A Guide to Academic Research which addresses information literacy and research-based assignments. In addition three texts: PHI-130 Critical Reasoning, and Critical Thinking: Analysis and Evaluation of Argument – Version 3 provide the foundation for critical thinking in relation to research. The authors thank all for their work and willingness to openly share with other educators.
Choosing & Using Sources: A guide to academic research by Ohio State University Libraries, is licensed under CC BY 4.0 Modifications: Text revised for clarity and flow
Critical Thinking: Analysis and Evaluation of Argument by Martha Bailey, Shirlee Geiger, Hannah Love & Martin Wittenberg licensed under a CC BY 4.0. Modifications: revised for clarity and flow
PHI -130 Critical Reasoning by Thomas Edison State College is licensed under CC BY 4.0 Modifications: Revised text for clarity and flow
About the Contributors
Cindy Gruwell is an Assistant Librarian/Coordinator of Scholarly Communication at the University of West Florida. She is the library liaison to the department of biology and the College of Health which has extensive nursing programs, public health, health administration, movement, and medical laboratory sciences. In addition to supporting health sciences faculty, she oversees the Argo IRCommons (Institutional Repository) and provides scholarly communication services to faculty across campus. Cindy graduated with her BA (history) and MLS from the University of California, Los Angeles and has a Masters in Education from Bemidji State University. Cindy’s research interests include academic research support, publishing, and teaching.F