If you are a college or university student, then you couldn’t have gone through the four years of education without conducting critical analysis of a literature or a poem or a research work.
Critical analyses are everywhere; in the assignments, in the examinations and even if the research works.
But what exactly are they and why do we need them?
How to define the major aspects to things that are critical analysis?
Let’s find out!
Philip Tsang writes about critical analysis in his book:
Critical analysis definition:
“It is to examine the deep meanings, personal implications and social consequences of any knowledge, theme, technique, text or material.”
Watson and Glaser have defined critical analysis as:
“A combination of knowledge, attitudes and skills”
In life, it is important to have critical analysis skills to understand situations, evaluate different viewpoints and solve problems. This makes it essential for students to develop their critical thinking and analysis skills, so that they can interpret the underlying messages of any text, literature or theme that they are provided with.
To better understand critical analysis, we must also know what critical thinking is.
In the words of Richard Paul and Linda Elder:
“Critical thinking is that mode of thinking – about a subject, content or a problem – in which the thinker improves the quality of his thinking by taking charge of the structures inherent in thinking and imposing intellectual standards upon them.”
Let me make it easy for you.
In critical thinking, the thinker has to perform two tasks simultaneously. He has to reflect on the process of his reasoning process and come to a correct conclusion at the same time.
This is not as easy as it sounds.
According to the Paul and Elder’s book The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking Concepts and Tools (2005, 4th ed.), there are eight criteria for developing critical thinking skills:
Although these eight criteria were later revised by other researchers, the basic concept remains the same. Critical thinking is a skill that enables us to analyze the situation intricately and search for solutions.
Some important factors that a thinker must possess in order to research a critical solution are objectivity, logic and fairness. If the evidence that is presented to solve the problem is not objective, fair or does not imply a solution that it is illogical and useless.
In conclusion, it is important for every person, student or otherwise, to possess critical analysis skills based on the definition of critical analysis, so that they can be more logical and systematic in different situations in life. But it is especially important for students to learn this skill if they want to succeed in their careers and lives.