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Critical Thinking

Critical Thinking
Your Guide to Effective Argument, Successful Analysis and Independent Study

Second Edition
Additional resources:

April 2022 | 384 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

What is critical thinking? How do you apply it in your assessments? How do you build a good argument or find evidence? 

Critical thinking is a set of techniques. You just need to learn them.

This is your personal toolkit for demystifying critical thinking. Clear and focused, it shows you how to sharpen your ability to think critically by developing and honing your skills. You’ll learn how to:

  • Build a solid argument and express your ideas clearly
  • Evaluate evidence and identify errors
  • Understand and account for biased or flawed thinking
  • Become a savvy user of technology
  • Sift through the deluge of digital information
  • Develop confident critical writing.

Designed to work with a power pack of digital resources and exercises, you'll find practical and effective tools to think and write critically in an information-saturated age.

Whether you're starting your first degree or arriving as an international or mature student, this book equips you with the skills, insights and confidence to succeed.

This second edition has been redesigned and fine-tuned with a focus on accessibility: with a new and improved layout to improve the eBook experience, and updated language, examples and further reading recommendations throughout.

Part I: The Art and Science of Being Reasonable
Chapter 1: Understanding the Reasons Behind Things
Chapter 2: Spelling Out Arguments and Assumptions
Chapter 3: Reasoning With Logic and Certainty
Chapter 4: Reasoning With Observation and Uncertainty
Chapter 5: Developing Explanations and Theories
Chapter 6: Assessing Evidence and Planning Your Reading Strategy
Part II: Being Reasonable in an Unreasonable World
Chapter 7: Getting to Grips With Rhetoric
Chapter 8: Seeing Through Faulty Reasoning
Chapter 9: Understanding Cognitive Bias
Chapter 10: Overcoming Bias in Yourself and Others
Chapter 11: Thinking Critically About Technology
Chapter 12: Putting It All Together: Critical Thinking in Study, Work and Life


Find the Online Resources

 Access a range of free digital resources to support your teaching and student engagement:

  • Welcome video from Tom ('What is Critical Thinking?')
  • YouTube videos introducing each chapter in a nutshell
  • Ten Commandments animated shorts to start discussions
  • Set of BuzzFeed quizzes to test what you (think) you know
  • Downloadable posters to display in the classroom or library
  • Downloadable PowerPoint slides to support teaching
  • Interactive and downloadable workbook to give you even more space to reflect and practice
Critical thinking webinar
Watch the recording of How to Think for Yourself with Tom Chatfield and Alex Baratta. This webinar, hosted by JS Group, offers top tips on how to spot misinformation and engage critically with the world.
Critical thinking videos
Watch over 20 videos of author Tom Chatfield discussing Critical Thinking and key ideas from his book, including each of his 10 Commandments.
What is critical thinking?
Critical thinking in a nutshell! In this brief introduction to critical thinking, Tom Chatfield explains what it is, why critical skills are important as a university student, and how they help with your studies.

Tom’s book continues to be a real hit with both undergraduate and postgraduate students. This book immerses students into the world of critical thinking using practical applications and experiences. The book triggers a meaningful sensemaking process and demystifies critical reading, thinking and reading, allowing students to develop their skills.

Paul McEvoy Clarke
Programme Leader – HRM Programmes, Liverpool Business School, Liverpool John Moores University.

Tom has a knack for providing relatable examples to break down the ideas around being a critical reader and writer. This second edition is no different and continues to carefully guide us all with developing our skills of criticality. A must read for anyone engaged with academic writing.

Andy Taylor
Senior Lecturer in Primary Education, School of Education, University of Worcester

An excellent book about the development of critical competences. "Critical Thinking" is a must in the reading lists of graduate and post graduate students given the relevant topics covered and the tasks that can be used for self and group reflection purposes. The easy-to-follow nature of the text makes it appropriate for a wide academic and professional audience.

Dr Jose Manuel Reis-Jorge
Escola de Educação, Instituto Superior de Educação e Ciências
April 21, 2023

It is helpful in focusing on what critical thinking is, how it works and how helpful it is in education and life

Mrs Carole Tatham
Curriculum, Burnley College
July 4, 2023

This title has been really helpful to support social work degree students make the transistion from level 3 courses to level 4. It has helped them to develop their critical thinking and to understand what is required to be a critical thinker

Mrs Tabitha King
Accounting, Heart of Worcestershire College
July 18, 2023

I think this will be a big support to some of my students.

Dr Kathryn Peckham
Early Childhood, Centre for Research In Early Childhood
May 2, 2023

i bought a copy; it is a very good bock

Mr Amdy Diene
School of Business, Liberty University
August 15, 2022

Very appropriate book for undergraduate students. It takes students through how they can structure their essays with relevant arguments and analysis independently.

Dr Seidu Salifu
Education, North East Surrey college of technology
October 16, 2022

This will be used for the students this academic year. It is a great text to help develop their cognitive skills as the students transition through their learning and degree.

Mrs Nikki Woods
Social Science, Winchester University
July 6, 2022

This books is likely to help students who are willing to work but tend to lose direction.

Dr Orsolya Czegledi
Physical Education, University of Lille II
October 3, 2022

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