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Effective Methods to Improve Critical Writing Skills in College

Written by CB Community

Among all writing assignments, critical writing tasks show how mature a student is and how he or she can view the world. Critical writing isn’t just about finding drawbacks in somebody’s papers, essays, or points of view, – it is more about the ability to judge people, things, and events on the ground of objective reasons. Engaging in critical reading and writing is also about rethinking more than describing the material, and refusing to follow mainstream opinions by working out your own viewpoint.

According to the Cambridge dictionary, the C2 level adjective ‘critical’ stands for ‘giving opinions or judgments on books, plays, films, etc.’ that might include (however, often doesn’t have to) the first literate meaning – ‘saying that someone or something is bad or wrong’. In other words, it means being bold enough to express your own opinion of facts, people, or things based on deep analysis and observation, rather than emotions or superstitions.

We can see how significant it is to judge correctly and describe your judgments in written papers in a comprehensive way.

But, is it possible to teach yourself this ability?

Effective Steps to Create a Critical Academic Piece of Writing

Critical writing isn’t an innate ability. You can learn this during your college years. There are a few steps to achieve this.

Read a lot

Before you express any thoughts on the given topic, you should study any existing opinions. However, this does not mean to study students’ essays. Rather, you should be studying first-hand sources written by reputable influential people who have predominating opinions in their field of studies. Look at the reasons given by those respected authors and analyze them as a contemporary student to shape your own ideas on the topics.

Experts from the University of Leicester claim that reading multiple sources helps you to create your own academic voice, which is great to have for your university development.

Become a part of a writing group

If you are a beginner and feel underprepared, you will surely face difficulties in reading dozens of books while trying to analyze them all. Placing yourself in a supportive environment will be a great start. Study together with like-minded people, and work together with them. This can help to make your critical views interesting, as you intertwine them with the modern world. Make sure you read and share both the good and bad sides you find in the literature. Community rules!

If you lack expertise, turn to experts

We live in a technologically convenient world. Nowadays, using online resources is a common occurrence. If you are mature enough to admit that you still have room to grow in this subject, you know it is okay to reach out for help. Sometimes students need to get guidance and/or mentorship with complex academic assignments. There are many highly qualified academic writers available online to help you write an essay. There are many companies like Advanced Writers who can assist you in this process.

Use notes to do the analysis

Organization is key. Creating neatly organized notes in your planner, notebook or on the laptop will help make everything clear and structured. This is crucial for any student who is wanting to dive deeper into the analysis. Try out this step, it’s really simple and helpful.

Foster healthy skepticism

In the world of plagiarising journalists and fraudsters, we cannot take everything or gospel. That is why you should not believe every single thing you hear people say or read in books. Being a healthy skeptic will come in handy in this situation. However, skepticism should be questioning unsupported evidence in a moderate way. Healthy skepticism demands good evidence and encourages you to learn the material with your own mind rather than blindly accepting what others say.

Be critical, but don’t disrespect

In both formal and informal surroundings, judging somebody’s opinion doesn’t mean judging its author. Showing disrespect is the sign of immaturity and a lack of ethics.

Throw away prejudice

It’s impossible to be an objective explorer if you have no specific stance to what you are trying to describe. While you are researching topics and making conclusions about the things you have found, be attentive so that you are not merely supporting the opinion of a scientist or writer just because you like them.

Believe only proven data that can be checked

Building your foundation should be so solid that you have no doubts that it’s well thought over. So be sure that the arguments you include are substantial and up to date, and use supported by evidence that can always be checked and verified. This is another reason why it is important to trust only tried and true scientific sources.
Going through all these steps to gain the ability of critical writing (or simply striving to do all of them), you will become a better writer from day today.

For more great education tips, check out the other blogs on College Basics.

About the author

CB Community

Passionate members of the College Basics community that include students, essay writers, consultants and beyond. Please note, while community content has passed our editorial guidelines, we do not endorse any product or service contained in these articles which may also include links for which College Basics is compensated.