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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.

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

All groups at Level 6 essential to support level 6 writing

Mrs Jane Joyce
AHed, Peter Symond's College
July 6, 2022

I love the style of presentation, key points are emphasised and repeated, I feel it will engage visual learners very much. the book brings the learner on a journey of deepening their understanding of the various elements of critical thinking.

Ms Elizabeth Myers
Nursing, Mercy university Hospital
July 11, 2022

Useful for contemporary university media students. Critical thinking is a major learning outcome for my postgraduate students.

Dr Memory Mabika
Communication and Applied Language Studies, University of Venda
April 27, 2022

Promotes critical thinking and supports the development of this academic skill for students from Level 4 onwards. Marking criteria focuses on critical thinking skills for students across all assessments and this is often a skill students struggle with understanding the 'how to'. This is a useful resource to signpost students to.

Miss Michelle Angela Clarke
Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences, Worcester University
February 24, 2023

Clearly written, excellent coverage of critical thinking but also covers other academic skills. Very comprehensive

Dr Christopher Workman
Higher Education, Leeds City College
May 31, 2022

Tom Chatfield presents an extensive and comprehensive but engaging text on developing critical thinking. This text can be applied at all levels of Further and Higher education programmes, irrelevant if prior knowledge. Th end of chapter exercises are are very effective in revisiting and reinforcing learning on a continuous basis.

Mr Andrew Clark
Faculty of Business and Law, Sunderland University
May 18, 2022

For instructors

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ISBN: 9781529718522
ISBN: 9781529718539