How to Write a Critical Thinking Essay: Examples & Outline

Critical thinking is the process of evaluating and analyzing information. People who use it in everyday life are open to different opinions. They rely on reason and logic when making conclusions about certain issues.

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A critical thinking essay shows how your thoughts change as you research your topic. This type of assignment encourages you to learn rather than prove what you already know. In this article, our custom writing team will:

  • explain how to write an excellent critical essay;
  • introduce 30 great essay topics;
  • provide a critical thinking essay example in MLA format.
  • 🤔 Critical Thinking Essay Definition
  • 💡 Topics & Questions
  • ✅ Step-by-Step Guide
  • 📑 Essay Example & Formatting Tips
  • ✍️ Bonus Tips

🔍 References

🤔 what is a critical thinking essay.

A critical thinking essay is a paper that analyses an issue and reflects on it in order to develop an action plan. Unlike other essay types, it starts with a question instead of a thesis. It helps you develop a broader perspective on a specific issue. Critical writing aims at improving your analytical skills and encourages asking questions.

The picture shows the functions of critical thinking in writing.

Critical Thinking in Writing: Importance

When we talk about critical thinking and writing, the word “critical” doesn’t have any negative connotation. It simply implies thorough investigation, evaluation, and analysis of information. Critical thinking allows students to make objective conclusions and present their ideas logically. It also helps them avoid errors in reasoning.

The Basics: 8 Steps of Critical Thinking Psychology

Did you know that the critical thinking process consists of 8 steps? We’ve listed them below. You can try to implement them in your everyday life:

It’s possible that fallacies will occur during the process of critical thinking. Fallacies are errors in reasoning that fail to provide a reasonable conclusion. Here are some common types of fallacies:

  • Generalization . It happens when you apply generally factual statements to a specific case.
  • Ambiguity . It occurs when the arguments are not clear and are not supported by evidence.
  • Appeal to authority . This mistake happens when you claim the statement is valid only because a respected person made it.
  • Appeal to emotion . It occurs when you use highly emotive language to convince the audience. Try to stay sensible and rely on the evidence.
  • Bifurcation . This mistake occurs when you choose only between two alternatives when more than two exist.
  • False analogy . It happens when the examples are poorly connected.

If you want to avoid these mistakes, do the following:

  • try not to draw conclusions too quickly,
  • be attentive,
  • carefully read through all the sources,
  • avoid generalizations.

How to Demonstrate Your Critical Thinking in Writing

Critical thinking encourages you to go beyond what you know and study new perspectives. When it comes to demonstrating your critical thinking skills in writing, you can try these strategies:

  • Read . Before you start writing an essay, read everything you can find on the subject you are about to cover. Focus on the critical points of your assignment.
  • Research . Look up several scholarly sources and study the information in-depth.
  • Evaluate . Analyze the sources and the information you’ve gathered. See whether you can disagree with the authors.
  • Prove . Explain why you agree or disagree with the authors’ conclusions. Back it up with evidence.

According to Purdue University, logical essay writing is essential when you deal with academic essays. It helps you demonstrate and prove the arguments. Make sure that your paper reaches a logical conclusion.

There are several main concepts related to logic:

If you want your essay to be logical, it’s better to avoid syllogistic fallacies, which happen with certain invalid deductions. If syllogisms are used carelessly, they can lead to false statements and ruin the credibility of your paper.

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💡 Critical Thinking Topics & Questions

An excellent critical thinking essay starts with a question. But how do you formulate it properly? Keep reading to find out.

How to Write Critical Thinking Questions: Examples with Answers

Asking the right questions is at the core of critical thinking. They challenge our beliefs and encourage our interest to learn more.

Here are some examples of model questions that prompt critical thinking:

  • What does… mean?
  • What would happen if…?
  • What are the principles of…?
  • Why is… important?
  • How does… affect…?
  • What do you think causes…?
  • How are… and… similar/different?
  • How do you explain….?
  • What are the implications of…?
  • What do we already know about…?

Now, let’s look at some critical thinking questions with the answers. You can use these as a model for your own questions:

Question: What would happen if people with higher income paid more taxes?

  • Answer: It would help society to prosper and function better. It would also help people out of poverty. This way, everyone can contribute to the economy.

Question: How does eating healthy benefit you?

  • Answer: Healthy eating affects people’s lives in many positive ways. It reduces cancer risk, improves your mood and memory, helps with weight loss and diabetes management, and improves your night sleep.

Critical Thinking Essay Topics

Have you already decided what your essay will be about? If not, feel free to use these essay topic examples as titles for your paper or as inspiration. Make sure to choose a theme that interests you personally:

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  • What are the reasons for racism in healthcare ?
  • Why is accepting your appearance important?
  • Concepts of critical thinking and logical reasoning .
  • Nature and spirit in Ralf Waldo Emerson ’s poetry.
  • How does technological development affect communication in the modern world?
  • Social media effect on adolescents.
  • Is the representation of children in popular fiction accurate?
  • Domestic violence and its consequences.
  • Why is mutual aid important in society?
  • How do stereotypes affect the way people think?
  • The concept of happiness in different cultures.
  • The purpose of environmental art .
  • Why do people have the need to be praised ?
  • How did antibiotics change medicine and its development?
  • Is there a way to combat inequality in sports ?
  • Is gun control an effective way of crime prevention?
  • How our understanding of love changes through time.
  • The use of social media by the older generation.
  • Graffiti as a form of modern art .
  • Negative health effects of high sugar consumption.
  • Why are reality TV shows so popular?
  • Why should we eat healthily ?
  • How effective and fair is the US judicial system ?
  • Reasons of Cirque du Soleil phenomenon.
  • How can police brutality be stopped?
  • Freedom of speech : does it exist?
  • The effects of vaccination misconceptions .
  • How to eliminate New Brunswick’s demographic deficit: action plan .
  • What makes a good movie ?
  • Critical analysis of your favorite book.
  • The connection between fashion and identity .
  • Taboo topics and how they are discussed in gothic literature .
  • Critical thinking essay on the problem of overpopulation .
  • Does our lifestyle affect our mental health ?
  • The role of self-esteem in preventing eating disorders in children .
  • Drug abuse among teenagers.
  • Rhetoric on assisted suicide .
  • Effects of violent video games on children’s mental health.
  • Analyze the effect stress has on the productivity of a team member.
  • Discuss the importance of the environmental studies .
  • Critical thinking and ethics of happy life.
  • The effects of human dignity on the promotion of justice.
  • Examine the ethics of advertising the tobacco industry.
  • Reasons and possible solutions of research misconduct.
  • Implication of parental deployment for children.
  • Cultural impact of superheroes on the US culture.
  • Examine the positive and negative impact of technology on modern society.
  • Critical thinking in literature: examples.
  • Analyze the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on economic transformation.
  • Benefits and drawbacks of mandatory vaccination .

Haven’t found a suitable essay idea? Try using our topic generator !

✅ How to Write a Critical Thinking Essay Step by Step

Now, let’s focus on planning and writing your critical thinking essay. In this section, you will find an essay outline, examples of thesis statements, and a brief overview of each essay part.

Critical Thinking Essay Outline

In a critical thinking essay, there are two main things to consider: a premise and a conclusion :

  • A premise is a statement in the argument that explains the reason or supports a conclusion.
  • A conclusion indicates what the argument is trying to prove. Each argument can have only one conclusion.

When it comes to structuring, a critical thinking essay is very similar to any other type of essay. Before you start writing it, make sure you know what to include in it. An outline is very helpful when it comes to structuring a paper.

The picture enumerates the main parts of a critical essay outline: introduction, main body, conclusion.

How to Start a Critical Essay Introduction

An introduction gives readers a general idea of an essay’s contents. When you work on the introduction, imagine that you are drawing a map for the reader. It not only marks the final destination but also explains the route.

An introduction usually has 4 functions:

  • It catches the reader’s attention;
  • It states the essay’s main argument;
  • It provides some general information about the topic;
  • It shows the importance of the issue in question.

Here are some strategies that can make the introduction writing easier:

  • Give an overview of the essay’s topic.
  • Express the main idea.
  • Define the main terms.
  • Outline the issues that you are going to explore or argue about.
  • Explain the methodology and why you used it.
  • Write a hook to attract the reader’s attention.

Critical Analysis Thesis Statement & Examples

A thesis statement is an integral part of every essay. It keeps the paper organized and guides both the reader and the writer. A good thesis:

  • expresses the conclusion or position on a topic;
  • justifies your position or opinion with reasoning;
  • conveys one idea;
  • serves as the essay’s map.

To have a clearer understanding of what a good thesis is, let’s have a look at these examples.

The statement on the left is too general and doesn’t provide any reasoning. The one on the right narrows down the group of people to office workers and specifies the benefits of exercising.

Critical Thinking Essay Body Paragraphs: How to Write

Body paragraphs are the part of the essay where you discuss all the ideas and arguments. In a critical thinking essay, arguments are especially important. When you develop them, make sure that they:

  • reflect the key theme;
  • are supported by the sources/citations/examples.

Using counter-arguments is also effective. It shows that you acknowledge different points of view and are not easily persuaded.

In addition to your arguments, it’s essential to present the evidence . Demonstrate your critical thinking skills by analyzing each source and stating whether the author’s position is valid.

To make your essay logically flow, you may use transitions such as:

  • Accordingly,
  • For instance,
  • On the contrary,
  • In conclusion,
  • Not only… but also,
  • Undoubtedly.

How to Write a Critical Thinking Conclusion

In a critical thinking essay, the notion of “conclusion” is tightly connected to the one used in logic. A logical conclusion is a statement that specifies the author’s point of view or what the essay argues about. Each argument can have only one logical conclusion.

Sometimes they can be confused with premises. Remember that premises serve as a support for the conclusion. Unlike the conclusion, there can be several premises in a single argument. You can learn more about these concepts from the article on a logical consequence by Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Keeping this in mind, have a look at these tips for finishing your essay:

  • Briefly sum up the main points.
  • Provide a final thought on the issue.
  • Suggest some results or consequences.
  • Finish up with a call for action.

📑 Critical Thinking Essays Examples & Formatting Tips

Formatting is another crucial aspect of every formal paper. MLA and APA are two popular formats when it comes to academic writing. They share some similarities but overall are still two different styles. Here are critical essay format guidelines that you can use as a reference:

Finally, you’re welcome to check out a full critical essay sample in MLA format. Download the PDF file below:

Currently, the importance of critical thinking has grown rapidly because technological progress has led to expanded access to various content-making platforms: websites, online news agencies, and podcasts with, often, low-quality information. Fake news is used to achieve political and financial aims, targeting people with low news literacy. However, individuals can stop spreading fallacies by detecting false agendas with the help of a skeptical attitude.

✍️ Bonus Tips: Critical Thinking and Writing Exercises

Critical thinking is a process different from our regular thinking. When we think in everyday life, we do it automatically. However, when we’re thinking critically, we do it deliberately.

So how do we get better at this type of thinking and make it a habit? These useful tips will help you do it:

  • Ask basic questions. Sometimes, while we are doing research, the explanation becomes too complicated. To avoid it, always go back to your topic.
  • Question basic assumptions. When thinking through a problem, ask yourself whether your beliefs can be wrong. Keep an open mind while researching your question.
  • Think for yourself. Avoid getting carried away in the research and buying into other people’s opinions.
  • Reverse things. Sometimes it seems obvious that one thing causes another, but what if it’s the other way around?
  • Evaluate existing evidence. If you work with sources, it’s crucial to evaluate and question them.

Another way to improve your reasoning skills is to do critical thinking exercises. Here are some of them:

Thanks for reading through our article! We hope that you found it helpful and learned some new information. If you liked it, feel free to share it with your friends.

Further reading:

  • Critical Writing: Examples & Brilliant Tips [2023]
  • How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis Essay: Outline, Steps, & Examples
  • How to Write an Analysis Essay: Examples + Writing Guide
  • How to Write a Critique Paper: Tips + Critique Essay Examples
  • How to Write a Literary Analysis Essay Step by Step
  • Critical Thinking and Writing: University of Kent  
  • Steps to Critical Thinking: Rasmussen University  
  • 3 Simple Habits to Improve Your Critical Thinking: Harvard Business Review  
  • In-Class Writing Exercises: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill  
  • Demonstrating Critical Thinking in Writing: University of South Australia  
  • 15 Questions that Teachers and Parents Can Ask Kids to Encourage Critical Thinking: The Hun School  
  • Questions to Provoke Critical Thinking: Brown University  
  • How to Write a College Critical Thinking Essay: Seattle PI  
  • Introductions: What They Do: Royal Literary Fund  
  • Thesis Statements: Arizona State University  
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How to Write a Critical Thinking Essay With Tips and Examples

31 July 2023

last updated

Essay writing is an integral academic exercise for students in higher educational institutions. As an example of different paper types, a critical thinking essay requires students to employ analytical and reflective writing skills. In essence, these skills underscore essential features of a critical thinking essay: analysis of information, reflection on key findings, a review of the relevance of the information, and an identification of any conclusions made by the author(s) or other scholars. Hence, a critical thinking essay is a specific type of writing that requires learners to read documents and make interpretations from their points of view. In turn, writers need to learn how to write a critical thinking essay to master their analytical, creative, and reflective skills.

General Guidelines for Writing a Critical Thinking Essay

Critical thinking is an essential skill, particularly for students who need to analyze and interpret data. In this case, the essence of this skill is that learners confront issues every day that require them to make prompt decisions. Moreover, critical thinking is the mechanism by which individuals arrive at these decisions. Therefore, a critical thinking essay is a document that allows students to address an issue holistically. Then, it means addressing issues in an essay format by using critical thinking skills from different perspectives, highlighting possible alternatives, and making well-thought-out decisions. To the audience, such a text makes it easy to understand the writer’s message and either agree or disagree with it. Besides, the decision to agree or disagree is based on the writer’s information regarding an issue in question. Hence, this is why authors of critical thinking essays need to provide details that make their arguments stronger and more palatable to the audience.

How to write a critical thinking essay with examples

1. Defining Characteristics of a Critical Thinking Essay

When writing a critical thinking essay, students should address several essential features. Firstly, writers need to reflect on what they have read, meaning taking time to consider the relevance of the information. In this case, such an attitude helps them to make strong arguments in defense of their points of view. Secondly, learners need to analyze how the information is presented and state whether it is sufficient or needs improvement. Thirdly, writers need to review the information based on previous knowledge. Here, they should say whether the information advances a concept or theory or contradicts existing knowledge. Finally, scholars need to identify the conclusion reached by the author(s) of the information and support or challenge it.

2. How to Identify a Critical Thinking Essay

Based on the essential features described above, students can tell whether an essay that they are writing is a critical thinking paper. Ideally, learners can know that their papers are critical thinking essays if prompt requirements require them to read and analyze a text. Basically, the analysis process includes reflecting on the text, commenting on how information is presented and its relation to previous knowledge, and supporting or challenging the conclusion made. In principle, these requirements reflect the defining features of a critical thinking essay.

3. How Does a Critical Thinking Essay Differ From Other Papers

A critical thinking essay differs fundamentally from other types of essays because it requires a student to read a text, such as a book or a poem, and analyze it using the writer’s perspective. Moreover, some instructions need students to analyze a film. In other words, writing a critical thinking essay emphasizes the students’ understanding of information and the meaning of what they have read, watched, or heard. Indeed, it is a central point of difference from other types of papers that require students to refrain from personal viewpoints. Then, this feature means that instructors grade a critical thinking essay based on the writer’s ability to develop a coherent argument and use essential writing skills. In this light, one can argue that a critical thinking essay is a form of an argumentative essay .

Free Examples of 20 Topics for Writing a Critical Thinking Essay

1. identify communication differences between men and women.

Under this topic, the students’ task is to read texts that talk about how men and women communicate and identify the differences. In this case, writers should analyze what they have read and summarize it via concise statements or arguments.

2. Discuss Drug Use in Sports

Under this topic, the students’ task is to research texts, such as research journal articles and government reports, that address the problem of drug use in sports and summarize their findings.

3. Explore the Anti-Meth Campaign

Under this topic, the students’ task is to read widely about anti-meth campaigns and provide an in-depth analysis of their impacts. By reading a critical thinking essay, the audience should understand whether specific campaigns have been effective or ineffective.

4. Discuss Homelessness and Its Social Impacts

Under this topic, the students’ task is to read texts about homelessness, such as journal articles and reports by governments and other humanitarian organizations, and explain the root causes and social implications of homelessness.

5. Discuss the History of College Football in the United States

Under this topic, the students’ task is to read documents, such as books and media articles, narrating college football history in the US. After writing a critical thinking essay, the audience should identify specific challenges that college football has faced in its development in the country.

6. Explore Health Effects of Obesity

Under this topic, the students’ task is to read research studies and medical reports discussing obesity. In turn, a critical thinking essay should explain the specific causes of obesity and the risks that obese individuals face.

7. Discuss the Significance of Street Art and Graffiti

Under this topic, the students’ task is to read texts discussing the evolution of street art and graffiti and make compelling arguments as to why they are essential features of modern art.

8. Sports On Television: Is It Necessary?

Under this topic, the students’ task is to explain why television has become a critical platform for sports and how it undermines or helps advance its social and cultural significance.

9. What Is the Essence of Multicultural Identity?

Under this topic, the students’ task is to explore the phenomenon of multiculturalism that has become notable and acceptable in modern society and explain its significance.

10. The Relevance of Body Size in Modeling

Under this topic, the students’ task is to explore the modeling profession and explain why body size matters. In other words, a critical thinking essay should make a case as to why a model should have a particular body size.

11. Understanding Multicultural Families

Under this topic, the students’ task is to explore multicultural families by reading texts that address the issue from a research or commentary perspective and summarize the leading arguments.

12. Changing Gender Roles: What It Means for Traditionalists

Under this topic, the student’s task is to explore gender roles from a historical and present perspective and discuss how it threatens or cements traditional views about the roles of men and women.

13. What Is Ethnic Music, and Does It Matter in a Multicultural Society?

Under this topic, the students’ task is to study multiculturalism and identify how ethnic music is a significant characteristic.

14. American Society and the Latino Influence

Under this topic, the students’ task is to study contemporary American society’s characteristics and indicate the extent to which Latinos and their culture (Latin American) have become a significant part of the American identity.

15. Challenges of Single-Parent Households

Under this topic, the students’ task is to read research studies on single parenthood and identify its challenges.

16. What Are the Features of a Good Movie?

Under this topic, the students’ task is to watch movies they consider “good” and provide an analysis of what makes them so.

17. Describe a Poem With a First-Person Point of View

Under this topic, the students’ task is to select a poem, examine it, and describe its outstanding features, such as literary devices.

18. The Dynamics of Adoption in a Multicultural Society

Under this topic, the students’ task is to examine the aspect of adoption within the context of a multicultural society.

19. What Store Strategies Influence Consumers?

Under this topic, the students’ task is to study the phenomenon of retail stores and give an analysis of specific factors that lead to their growth or shut down.

20. Euthanasia: The Questions of Ethics, Morals, and Legality

Under this topic, the students’ task is to examine the aspect of euthanasia (mercy or assisted killing) and give an opinion on whether society should address it from a perspective of ethics, morals, or law.

How Students Can Understand if They Need to Write a Critical Thinking Essay by Looking at a Topic

When it comes to essay writing, the department’s requirements provide direction about a critical thinking topic. By reading such a topic, students get an idea of what kind of paper they are supposed to write. Regarding a critical thinking essay, a topic should require students to research a specific theme, reflect on what they have read, and comment on how the author(s) have presented information, the relevance of the information to existing knowledge, and the significance of the author’s conclusion. In turn, these five tasks underscore the essential features of a critical thinking essay.

Structure of a Critical Thinking Essay

When it comes to an essay structure , a critical thinking essay comprises three main sections: introduction, body, and conclusion. When writing each of these sections, students should capture essential features. Firstly, the introduction should provide a hook to capture the readers’ attention and formulate a thesis statement to guide the paper’s arguments and ideas. In the body, writers should use topic sentences to introduce paragraphs. Besides, students should follow a sandwich rule, where they make a claim, provide supporting facts, and explain the significance of cited evidence to the paper’s thesis. In the conclusion part, authors should restate a thesis statement, summarize the main body points, and make a concluding remark. Finally, other essential features that learners should use in the main text are transitions to give a critical thinking paper a natural and logical flow of ideas and arguments.

Sample Outline Template for Writing a Critical Thinking Essay

I. Introduction

A. Start with a hook sentence that makes a critical thinking essay interesting. B. Cover brief information about a theme discussed in body paragraphs. C. End with a thesis statement of a critical thinking essay.

A. Background Information:

  • introduce an issue for readers;
  • provide examples that support this issue;
  • explain how examples correlate with a theme;
  • finish with defining an issue for readers.

B. Argument on an Issue

  • begin with an argument on an issue;
  • covers examples to support this argument;
  • explain how examples and argument are related;
  • conclude how an argument on this theme is relevant.

C. Importance of an Issue

  • state why this issue is important;
  • support this statement with examples from credible sources;
  • explain how these examples underline the importance of an issue;
  • end with a concluding sentence that supports this importance.

III. Conclusion

A. Restate a thesis claim. B. Cover the key points discussed in body paragraphs. C. Provide a final thought on an issue.

An Example of a Critical Thinking Essay

Topic: Roles of Critical Thinking Skills

I. Introduction Sample of a Critical Thinking Essay

Critical thinking is a requirement in higher education because it reflects the level of mental preparedness of students intending to join the labor industry. In this case, essay writing is one of the strategies that higher education institutions use to develop these critical thinking skills in students. Writing argumentative essays has profoundly shaped my critical thinking skills and made me more reflective and analytical in my texts.

II. Examples of Body Paragraphs in a Critical Thinking Essay

A. background information of an issue.

The advent of the Internet opened a new world of research as scholars found a platform to publish research findings. Besides scholars, public and private entities have turned to the online platform to spread information they perceive as critical and needful. Over time, I have come to see the Internet as a crucial reservoir of knowledge, and I always turn to it for personal enrichment. Moreover, Gilster (1997) perceives critical thinking as a critical skill for individuals who use online platforms for academic purposes. In this case, the author demonstrates that, since the Internet is full of falsehoods and incomplete and obsolete information, it is critical for those who depend on this technology to employ critical thinking. Hence, such thinking helps users distinguish between essential, relevant information, and what appears to be irrelevant and nonessential.

On the issue of critical thinking, examining and analyzing content are fundamental exercises. In essence, critical thinking entails reading a text and interpreting it by using an analytical lens. For example, when students read novels, they can use their critical thinking skills to analyze the plot and characters and provide arguments that indicate an in-depth understanding of both (Gilster, 1997). In most cases, such ideas go beyond what is written in the novel to include the student’s interpretation of events. In my case, I use the Internet to find research and media articles on different topics, such as homelessness, substance abuse, crime, and police and law enforcement. Moreover, I use these articles to reflect on the dynamics that shape life in contemporary society, using my critical thinking skills to relate the past, present, and future. Therefore, I can state confidently that this habit has made me a strong debater on contemporary issues.

By using critical thinking skills, readers make deductions, thereby showcasing their understanding levels. As the literature suggests, critical thinking serves as a basis for knowledge accumulation and advancement (Ku & Ho, 2010). In my academic journey, I have employed critical thinking to gain insight into several issues. Furthermore, one of these issues is the significance of politics to the life of ordinary citizens. Then, many documents I have read about politics have made me conclude that politicians are selfish by default and only develop consensus when their interests are accommodated. Hence, this understanding has made me have minimal expectations from local and national political figures.

III. Conclusion Sample of a Critical Thinking Essay

Critical thinking is a key skill that helps individuals to analyze and reflect on information from diverse sources. Over the years, I have used critical thinking to analyze research and media articles published on online platforms and make logical deductions. Moreover, these deductions point to my ability to take information, analyze, and interpret it. Thus, I can confidently state that my critical thinking skills have made me aware of human weaknesses and the risk of putting too much trust in people vulnerable to shortcomings.

Gilster, P. (1997). Digital literacy: The thinking and survival skills new users need to make the Internet personally and professionally meaningful . New York, NY: Wiley.

Ku, K. Y., & Ho, I. T. (2010). Metacognitive strategies that enhance critical thinking. Metacognition and Learning , 5 (3), 251-267.

Summing Up on How to Write a Good Critical Thinking Essay

A critical thinking essay is a document that reflects students’ ability to use analytical and reflective skills in studying an issue. Although writing a critical thinking essay assumes following a basic structure of a standard essay, it has features that distinguish it from other papers. When writing this type of essay, students should master the following tips:

  • read and analyze information;
  • reflect on study findings;
  • review the relevance of the information within the context of existing knowledge;
  • identify any conclusions made by authors or other scholars and their significance.

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How to Write a Critical Thinking Essay Step by Step

Essay paper writing

critical thinking paper outline

Writing a critical thinking paper is a complicated task that requires analytical skills and the ability to process and evaluate information, providing your personal, well-justified opinion on the topic in focus. This article provides straightforward instructions and tips on how to write a high-quality critical thinking essay, what outline to choose, and how to edit such a paper.

Besides, you will see a list of interesting topics you can use to practice writing, a detailed video guide on creating a good critical thinking essay, and some samples.

What Is Critical Thinking Essay

A critical thinking essay is a type of assignment aimed at teaching students to carefully analyze information, work with concepts, develop arguments and counter-arguments, and express their ideas based on the conducted research. 

The importance of critical thinking essay is unquestionable, as people who can analyze any issue from several facets will be resistant to manipulations and stereotypes and safe from making rush decisions. There is a separate discipline called critical thinking in many educational establishments. Many teachers regard critical thinking in writing as an excellent opportunity to encourage students to be open to different opinions and come up with objective conclusions.

It is important to understand that thinking critically doesn’t mean criticizing anything or anybody. The essence of a critical thinking essay is to describe a specific concept, argument, or evidence in an unbiased manner. Thus, you don’t simply express your ideas but navigate multiple data sources, work through the information, and either support or reject the argument. Of course, the process may be time-consuming, but it will surely help students approach and evaluate different situations and facts more thoroughly.

Steps for Writing a Critical Thinking Essay

Writing a critical thinking essay, you have to manipulate multiple data assets and can get tired quickly. However, if you follow the steps presented below, you will be able to organize the entire process better and achieve the desired result without stressing out.

1. Choose a Topic for Critical Thinking Essay

When professors ask students to write a critical thinking essay, they usually reveal the topic straight away. Thus, learners already understand what the focus of their research will be. However, sometimes, teachers let students choose a topic themselves. In this case, you need to be very mindful of an argument, concept, phenomenon, or situation you will write about. It is better to select something that you are genuinely interested in.

It is important to pick a topic with at least several basic arguments you can build your critical thinking essay around. Moreover, make sure there is enough data for studying and analyzing.

2. Conduct Research and Collect Information

Critical thinking in essay writing presupposes that you cannot base the arguments on your personal preferences, religious beliefs, political ideas, etc. You should be flexible in accepting different points of view at this stage. Moreover, it is advisable to look up different scholarly sources to have a reliable basis for your essay.

You can start your search with online platforms, printed newspapers, magazines, and books. The main thing here is to avoid questionable resources; otherwise, your critical thinking essay will be undependable, and you will likely receive poor grades.

You should be very accurate when choosing scientific sources. It is not enough to find a single article where an author claims a particular concept is correct and undeniable. Instead, you need to read various materials and analyze them meticulously.  

3. Develop and Write a Thesis Statement

A thesis is a core argument you are discussing in your critical thinking essay. A good thesis statement serves as a hook to intrigue readers and touches upon the topic you are addressing. Besides, it helps you define the aim you need to achieve in body paragraphs. Usually, a thesis statement is one sentence long.

4. Prepare an Outline

The outline of a critical thinking paper is rather standard:

  • First, present the topic/issue you are considering in the form of a thesis statement. It is also recommended to include a “catch” sentence and provide some factual background data.
  • Next, define an approximate number of paragraphs. You may put down a starting sentence for each paragraph to have a more precise writing plan. Keep in mind that every paragraph should have one argument reinforced with examples and evidence. It is also necessary to indicate the source of information you used.
  • Finally, restate a thesis, overview the points you made, and come up with a conclusion where your thesis is proven.

5. Write a Rough Draft

When you have a rough outline of your critical thinking essay, you should start structuring the information in accordance with it. Every paragraph in a body section must be devoted to a distinct argument or piece of evidence in favor of your point. It is paramount to anticipate objections that may appear. Try to imagine what your opponents may think about when reading your paper. Include several logical statements that specify why their criticism is ungrounded.

 6. Revise and Edit Your Critical Thinking Essay

Writing critical thinking papers isn’t easy. Chances are high that your rough draft requires meticulous editing and revising. Leave your paper aside and return to it in several hours or even a day to evaluate its quality as accurately as possible. Sometimes, you may even need to alter an initial thesis if you think that you can make better points.

7. Proofread and Check for Mistakes

It may be challenging to find mistakes and dubious statements yourself, so you can ask relatives or friends to read your paper. They can highlight typos and paragraphs that sound vague or barely relate to what you touch upon in your critical thinking essay. If you are lucky to have friends or relatives with a linguistics background, don’t hesitate to ask them for help, as they may notice in your paper such fallacies as generalization, ambiguity, appeal to authority or emotions, as well as a false analogy.

Video Guide on How to Write a Critical Thinking Essay

Critical thinking writing can become an exciting activity if you constantly hone your skills and work on different topics. Mastering this craft will be easier with this detailed video guide . An author shares tips on writing a critical essay that will come in handy regardless of the academic discipline. You will understand what critical thinking involves, how to present your ideas properly, what techniques to use, and how to sound objective.

Critical Thinking Essay Outline

A critical thinking paper outline is similar to the structure of any other essay type. In total, there are three distinct parts – an introduction, the main body, and a conclusion.


In this part of a critical thinking essay, you need to present a general idea of a paper. Let’s imagine that an introduction is like a map, where you should draw a route for readers and direct them from one point to the other. A good introduction should:

  • Intrigue readers
  • State the main argument of an essay without going into detail
  • Include some general facts about the topic
  • Shed light on the importance of the issue

An introduction should also include a thesis statement; everything written further will stem from it.

Body paragraphs, where you present and discuss all ideas and arguments, comprise about 90% of a critical thinking essay.

Arguments are extremely important, and you need to ensure they:

  • Represent the main topic
  • Are underpinned with sources, examples, and citations.

In addition to arguments, you have to come up with counter-arguments to show you’re aware of different points of view concerning the topic and are ready to support your ideas.

The main purpose of critical thinking essay writing is to persuade readers that your opinion about a situation, fact, concept, etc., is correct. The best way to do it is by referring to credible sources. Therefore, you will need to analyze many printed and digital media to collect facts that back up your point of view.

A unique feature of a critical essay format is that you can include an additional section or a subparagraph in a body part dedicated to your viewpoint and whether it transformed in the research process.

In the conclusion section, you need to evaluate your findings, summarize your arguments, and point out the directions for further research. In general, every argument from the main body will have a separate conclusion, and you can enumerate them all in this part. Don’t get too carried away with describing every argument in detail since you’ve already done it in the body section; make sure to stick to the point.

Topics for Critical Thinking Essay

If you want to practice writing this paper type, this rundown of critical thinking essay topics will surely come in handy. The list includes critical thinking paper topics from different academic courses.

Critical Thinking Essay Examples

If you don’t know how to start your essay writing process, check the examples of critical thinking essay here . While reading a critical thinking essay sample, you can come up with interesting ideas for your assignment and understand how such an academic paper should be structured.

Sometimes, an example of critical essay on your chosen topic may help you grasp the other side of an argument.

If you need professional help with critical thinking essay writing, place an order with us. We offer top-notch writing services, reasonable prices, and timely delivery. Our team has rich experience in writing critical thinking papers and can present your point of view in a convincing way.

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Critical Thinking Essay

critical thinking paper outline

Critical thinking is a skill that helps an individual to analyze information independent of other people’s thoughts. Therefore, it is the ability to make proper judgments based not only on what you think but what is true. It is a difficult skill to master yet critical for students as well as running daily life. Critical thinking essay writing involves absorbing the information and then further evaluating it. A critical thinker is not swayed by other people’s opinions, rather relies on the analyzed information to make decisions.

What is a critical thinking essay?

A critical thinking essay is a piece of writing that uses a writer’s analytical skills to address certain issues. This essay involves a well-read piece, combined with the identified weaknesses and personal arguments. The writer should understand that the role of this essay is not to fault-find. A critical thinking essay will use the available information, filter the unnecessary and make conclusions. A properly written critical thinking paper asks the right questions and addresses them appropriately. High school, college, and university students encounter such essays to equip them with knowledge on how to solve real-life problems.

Professor’s gauge such essays based on the students’ writing and analytical skills. Therefore, one must be present the ideas in a manner that proves their critical thinking prowess.

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How to create a thesis statement for critical thinking essay 

When writing a thesis statement for a critical thinking essay, pick the opinion that you are least likely to agree with.

To get started, answer these questions about your topic:

  • What is your position on this issue?
  • Why do you think your position is true?
  • How did you come to this conclusion?
  • What facts have led you to form an opinion?
  • Are there any facts that contradict your claim?

If so, how could they be explained in a way that does not conflict with your opinion? You can then draft your thesis statement by completing the following sentence template: “I believe [OPINION] because [REASONS], but many people disagree because [REASONS].”

Here are some examples of good thesis statements for critical thinking essays: 

  • I believe that we should eliminate all paper money in order to reduce crime and stimulate the economy. Many people disagree with me because they think it’s impractical, but I believe it can be done.
  • I believe that school uniforms are necessary because students cannot learn if they are too distracted by clothing. Many people disagree with me because they think uniforms will make students less creative. However, I don’t agree because there is no evidence to support this claim.
  • I believe that children do better in smaller classes because several studies show a significant difference in academic achievement between kids who attend small classes and kids who attend large ones. Many people disagree with me because they think teachers’ salaries need to be increased instead of class sizes decreased, but I think this is a false trade-off.
  • I believe that cell phone usage should be banned in schools because it’s too distracting. Many people disagree with me because they think students should be able to learn how to handle distractions by practicing on their own time, but I don’t agree because they are not being held accountable for their performance once they leave the classroom. With practice, students will get used to being distracted which will harm them academically.
  • I believe that women have an obligation to serve as soldiers during wartime even if it would mean killing innocent civilians. Many people disagree with me for religious reasons, but I believe that it is just for women to do whatever they can to protect their countries.
  • I believe that gun control laws should be reformed because the current laws are ineffective. Many people disagree with me because they think that stricter restrictions will not stop criminals from getting guns illegally, but I don’t agree because it is easy for anyone to get a hold of a weapon if they want one badly enough.
  • I believe that our public education system needs improvement because too many children are dropping out before finishing high school. Many people disagree with me because they think the government spends more on education than it needs to, but I believe that increased funding has made little impact on test scores or graduation rates.
  • I believe that religion is an obstacle to world peace because antagonism based on religious beliefs contributes significantly to violence around the world. Many people disagree with me because they think that religion is fundamental to many cultures, but I believe that it has played a role in much of the conflict that exists today.
  • I believe that internet pornography should be illegal because it harms families and encourages sexual violence. Many people disagree with me for political reasons, but I believe this would reduce sex crimes overall.
  • I believe that schools should start later so students will get more sleep. Many people disagree with me because they think starting earlier makes kids perform better academically, but I don’t agree because there is no scientific evidence supporting this argument.

These are some examples of thesis statement for critical thinking essay to help you formulate your own thesis.

How to start a critical thinking essay in 9 steps

Starting a critical thinking essay is not hard when you know how to approach it. Critical thinking is the process of constructive reasoning that involves gathering information, evaluating evidence and analyzing data. This type of essay will require you to take a side on an argumentative issue in order to show your own critical thinking skills.

Here are 9 steps of starting a critical thinking essay effectively:

1. State the issue

State the main argumentative issue of your topic in a sentence. It is an important step because it will be used as a basis for further explaining and analyzing it. Keep in mind that you have to keep your points concise so do not write anything too long. For example, if you were doing a critical thinking essay on whether fast food should be banned from schools, you would write something like this: “The topic I will analyze critically in this essay is whether there should be fast food restaurants at schools.”

2. Provide reasons for your position

Doing this simply involves listing the reasons why you think one side is better than another or why one decision is more advantageous than another. There are many ways to come up with these, but the easiest is to choose from a list of common arguments. For example, if you were writing about fast food restaurants in schools, these would be some reasons why they should stay:

  • They provide easy access to cheap and quick meals.
  • They employ teenagers who need money for college or other expenses.
  • A lot of students eat there because it’s close by and more affordable than bringing their own lunch.

3. Discuss the consequences

This step is very important because consequences are usually used as evidence when arguing one side over another so ignoring them will make your essay seem incomplete. You need to write about both sides’ possible consequences, even if you think one or another seems unlikely or ridiculous.”The consequences of banning fast-food restaurants from schools are that students won’t have access to affordable meals when they are hungry. Many teenagers who work part-time jobs at these restaurants will lose their only source of income.”

4. Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses

There are always pros and cons to every plan, so do not neglect this step by simply focusing on the best possible outcomes or the worst ones. If you were writing about fast food restaurants in schools, an example of a strength would be something like having booths available during lunch time for students with special dietary needs while a weakness would be students being less likely to eat healthy if they can get cheap items like onion rings or burger combos. You need to list them all down because some arguments will contradict others, which means that you have to pick one over the other.

5. Analyze the alternatives

Having a list of alternatives will help you create a more thorough argument that covers all possibilities. You can either use the same plan with different variations of it or create new ones based on what you know about your topic so far. For example, if you were doing a critical thinking essay on whether fast food restaurants should be banned from schools, an alternative would be allowing these restaurants to stay but adding healthier items to their menus or providing educational information on nutrition for people who are interested in improving their diets.

6. Argue against your position

This step involves arguing against your own position by stating reasons that prove your side is not beneficial as others think it is or that it has flaws that would not occur with another plan. This is important because it will help you convince your audience that although your position may be unpopular, they should buy into what you’re saying rather than the popular opinion by showing them how there are pros and cons to both arguments. If you were doing a critical thinking essay on whether fast food restaurants should be allowed at schools, an example of an argument against this idea could be:

“The existence of these restaurants encourages students to buy fast food instead of bringing their own lunch which is healthier for them.”

7. Conclude the essay

Doing this step last allows you to use any new information or ideas you come up with while writing the rest of your paper that will allow you to finish it without worrying about forgetting something or going off topic. The conclusion should be a summary of your main points and reasons, pointing out which ones have the most evidence while still managing to stay within the word limit.

For example, in a critical thinking essay on whether fast food restaurants should be banned from schools a good conclusion would be:

“Although there are many pros and cons to both arguments, I believe that fast food establishments should not be allowed in schools because they do not provide necessary nutrition for students who use them as their main source of food.”

8. Make your citations

Citations are important because academics love numbers even though it’s only ever one person’s opinion or point that is being represented by these statistics or facts so you need to give credit when it is due. Make sure that you provide the full name of the source and a page number whenever you make a citation. The style used differs from one school or research institution to another, so you should check it out before doing your essay or asking someone for help.

9. Edit and proofread your work

The last step involves going over every sentence and checking if any words are misspelled or misplaced, including where punctuation goes within quotations and which type is being used. When you’re done, print out what you have written and read it through once more to see if any new information or ideas come up that could improve your paper. You might want to spend a bit of time reading the essay back to yourself in a different voice than the one you would typically use so you can hear how it sounds and find anything that doesn’t quite fit with the rest of the writing.

How to write a critical thinking essay for school in 6 steps

The following are some steps that will help you to effectively write a critical thinking essay:

Step 1. Choose the right topic

Some instructors may provide students on a topic to analyze while others will allow the learners to choose. If one is availed to you, make sure you read and understand it before starting to conduct your research. Your professor may ask you to analyze an article, essay, piece of literature or a controversial opinion. On the other hand, if you are to pick a topic, choose one that interests you. As much as you would like to impress your professor, never choose a tic that is too difficult for you to handle. Select an area that provides sufficient information for your basic arguments.

Step 2. Conduct your research

Collect information that relates to your current knowledge on the topic. Ensure that you gather the materials from credible and verifiable sources. If you are to analyze another person’s piece of work, read through it attentively. Write down your thoughts as you continue reading. You can also include a list of questions that will need to be addressed from the text. Note the sources from which you have drawn information.

Step 3. Develop a thesis statement

A good thesis forms the central argument of your essay and the direction you will take. Though brief, the thesis statement should mention the main points of your argument and your stand. Having gathered the relevant information, a good thesis should contain the points that you will discuss in the body of your essay. Take time to come up with a strong thesis statement since it will determine how critically analyzed your information is. Do not use obvious facts or information as your thesis statement.

Step 4. Outline your work

Since you have the thesis statement and relevant material, create your essay’s blueprints. Some critical thinking essays are backed up by external sources while others depend on your thinking. A critical thinking essay is not the place to take express emotions. Therefore, you should present the logical views in line with your thesis statement. While creating your outline, consider other scholarly viewpoints on the same matter.

Step 5. Draft your essay

Your essay is almost complete, only that it is in bits and pieces. You need to put the information gathered together to come up with a perfect critical thinking essay. A good critical thinking essay should have an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Some writers choose to begin in a systematic order while others start with the body paragraphs. Use the approach that works best for you in analyzing your ideas and expressing your thoughts.

  • Introduction: The first sentence of your essay should uniquely identify the purpose of the piece of writing. A compelling start will make the reader anxious to read your content. Therefore, starting it in a boring tone makes you predictable. Use statistics, facts, anecdote or an engrossing question to grab the reader’s attention.
  • Body paragraphs: A critical thinking essay may entail your research or another person’s work. The content of the body paragraphs depends on what you are analyzing. If it is your research, identify your arguments in the first two paragraphs. Use the next paragraphs to give supporting evidence to your arguments. If you are analyzing an article, essay or other person’s literature, summarize the main points in the first few paragraphs. Apply your analytical skills to express your thoughts on the content highlighted. If you are using the five-paragraph essay format, focus on the main ideas and remain relevant. However, it is better to have three short paragraphs that one long one. The body paragraphs are a reflection of your critical thinking skills, based on the arguments you present. Clearly illustrate your logical opinions but avoid using pronouns like “I” or “my”. While you may base your work on some research, have a paragraph that explicitly expresses your opinion. Again, do not let emotions take the lead here.
  • Conclusion: Your conclusion should highlight what findings you have covered and their importance. How does the information you have provide affect you or relate to the reader? You can also provide an avenue for further research on the topic. Let the reader see the same direction you had pointed out in your thesis statement.

Step 6. Revise and proofread your essay

Submitting a critical thinking paper that you have not proofread could cost you a considerable number of points. In the course of revising your work, you will identify the hitches in your logical thinking. It will also help you polish the writing errors. Ensure that you have used the required formatting styles. Revisit the instructions and establish what the instructor expects your essay to look like. If you do not feel a smooth flow of ideas, neither will the reader. Do not forget to cite the sources as advised by your professor. Since you had noted down the references during research, this should not take up much of your time.

Important critical thinking skills in essay writing

The ability to think critically is not a skill possessed by everyone. In fact, many people have never been taught how to think critically and instead simply rely on their existing knowledge or what they were told by others. Critical thinking involves questioning assumptions rather than just accepting them at face value. A lack of critical thinking can lead to someone making incorrect decisions without even realizing it, especially given the complex nature of some issues. While some forms of writing do not require any critical thinking skills, such as when an article is copied from another source word for word with no original thought or opinions included, other types of writing actually benefit from including this sort of information. Essays are one where having these skills will help ensure that the final product is a good one.

Important critical thinking skills in essay writing include:

1. Understanding how to use evidence:

When people write essays they need to include evidence in order to support their claims and opinions. Evidence in writing can come in many different forms, including facts or data that are collected by someone with expert-level knowledge or observations that are made by an everyday person who happened to see something interesting happen. People do not always think about using evidence when they are writing an essay, but it will be included naturally if the writer does his research before starting the process of putting together these thoughts. Being able to accurately find dependable sources is another important area where critical thinking skills may be needed for this type of assignment .

2. Knowing what makes an argument strong:

While not every essay that someone writes will be focused on proving a point, it is still important to include arguments that are based in fact rather than just opinions or assumptions. There are many different elements involved when determining the strength of an argument. For example, one must consider whether or not the evidence used seems reasonable and if there is enough of it to prove what the writer is claiming. Other areas where critical thinking skills can help include looking at various points of view so that all sides are considered instead of taking one side over another or simply inventing opinions without providing any proof for them.

3. Avoiding fallacies:

Fallacies are statements that appear to be true but cannot be verified as being accurate to lack of information or because they are not accurate to begin with. For example, if a writer were simply to state that all dogs like human affection and then end the argument there without any evidence or research done to prove that this is true, it would be considered a fallacy because there may be some dogs who do not like affection and others who only like certain types of affection. Anyone who wants to write an essay needs to avoid using fallacies in their writing as much as possible. This will make the contents of the paper more credible and bring up less questions from readers because everything will be factually based rather than just stating opinions.

As seen above, critical thinking skills can help you write an essay better by helping them separate assumptions from facts and properly use evidence while also avoiding common mistakes such as fallacies. Critical thinking does not just apply to subjects such as science and math , but it can be useful in any topic under the sun.

Critical thinking is a vital life skill that everyone should learn about sooner rather than later. The more aware people are of this, the better off they will be when trying to determine what information they are given is accurate or if it needs to be questioned further before being accepted as fact. Being able to use critical thinking skills can help avoid mistakes that may cost someone time, money, or opportunities for advancement down the road.

25 Critical thinking essay topics to write about

Here are 25 interesting critical thinking essay topics to write about:

  • Describe a time in your life when you were faced with a problem that could have been resolved better if you had applied critical thinking skills. How can we teach people to think critically? Why is it important to think critically about the world around us? Are most human beings capable of being rational thinkers or do we behave more irrationally than rationally on a day-to-day basis? Can critical thinking be developed at an early age?
  • What are some reasons why humans would want to foster a culture of critical thinking in our society today, and how does this compare with other cultures around the world?
  • What are some components of critical thinking? How is the development of those components related to learning and education? How is it related to our ability to function as a society?
  • What role do emotions play in the process of critical thinking, and why should we attempt to detach our feelings from such processes?
  • Why is critical thinking important for success in life and work today? Is there a difference between “critical thinking skills” and “critical reading skills”? Are most people naturally good at critical reading or understanding, or must these abilities be learned?
  • Can critical-thinking tools (e.g., guiding questions, templates help readers, listeners, viewers, thinkers?) How?
  • What is the relationship between thought and language? Critical thinking and emotions: If we “feel” that something is true, does that mean it IS true? What is the role of emotions in critical thinking and decision making?
  • Is there such a thing as a “logic instinct” (i.e., an innate ability to reason) or are logic skills learned behaviours? How does this relate with critical thinking abilities vs critical reading abilities? What effort has been made by educational institutions around the world to promote better reasoning skills and encourage students to think more critically than before.
  • Do our dreams help us to think more creatively? Do our dreams help us to make better decisions?
  • What makes an argument valid or invalid, strong or weak? Why is the study of logic important if one hopes to be a critical thinker?
  • What do we mean when we say that something is “true”? What different types of truth are there, and how does knowing this help us remain grounded in reality?
  • How has the development and increased relevance of social media (e.g., Facebook, Twitter) affected critical thinking and reasoning skills for younger generations? How about older generations? Why do you think this might be significant in terms of its effects on society at large?
  • What do we mean when we say that something is “false”? What different types of falsehoods are there, and how does knowing this help us to recognize deceitful claims made by others? Is it possible for an argument or claim to be true and false at the same time?
  • How can critical thinking skills help us in terms of problem solving?
  • How would you define science as opposed to pseudoscience? What makes a scientific theory valid or invalid? Can “honest mistakes” be made in scientific research – i.e., honest mistakes vs outright fraud, deceit, lies etc.?
  • Can a person have a belief that is both valid and invalid at the same time? Can a person be right for the wrong reasons, or wrong for the right reasons? How can we tell which of those two possibilities apply to any given situation?
  • What is Socrates’ contribution to philosophy and critical thinking? Why did he become so well-known as a result, and why should we study him today if we hope to cultivate better reasoning skills in ourselves?
  • What role do “ unconscious beliefs ” play in one’s life and how does this affect our decision making abilities on a daily basis? In what ways might all people be – i.e., less rational – than they think?
  • What is the difference between inductive reasoning and deductive reasoning? What is an example of each type of reasoning, and how do each work in terms of logical arguments?
  • How are conspiracy theories used as rhetorical devices by politicians or groups with particular political agendas? Why does this matter for critical thinkers who hope to avoid being influenced by false information spread online about politics, science, history etc.? Are there benefits to using conspiracy theories rhetorically? How can critical thinking help people to recognize conspired rhetoric when it exists in any given context – i.e., what are the techniques used by conspir rhetoric to appeal emotionally to listeners/readers?
  • How can critical thinking help people to spot deceptive advertising when they see it online or on TV etc.?
  • What is an “appeal to authority” and how does it compare with valid forms of argumentation? Why is the study of fallacies important for any critical thinker?
  • What types of cognitive biases do all individuals suffer from, according to research findings in the field of psychology ? Why might this information be significant for critical thinkers who hope to avoid being influenced by them in their daily lives?
  • Why is it that some truths remain difficult to discover even after extensive research has been done on a given topic by experts? What are the different ways scientists establish the validity of their claims ?
  • How can critical thinking help people to avoid falling prey to pseudoscience or intentional deceit online? In what cases might one person’s ignorance constitute another individual’s knowledge, and vice versa?

What is critical thinking?

Critical thinking is a set of skills and traits that define the way people process information and make decisions. Characteristics of critical thinkers include: an ability to think, reflect, apply knowledge to ideas or concepts, analyze problems from multiple angles, value evidence over assumption, consider ethics as well as personal and social consequences, and adapt to the changing world.

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Why is a Critical Thinking Essay Outline Important?

Critical thinking essays help you sharpen your analytical skills and make you understand things very deeply. When you write critical thinking essays, you understand different evaluating options and become much better at making decisions. Your decisions are much more informed when you analyze situations critically, more you can find here . 

Creating a critical thinking essay outline is an essential part of the writing process. It helps you organize your thoughts and arguments in a logical and coherent way, making it easier for your readers to follow your reasoning. An outline also allows you to identify any gaps in your argument or areas where you need to do more research. This means that when you start writing, you already have a clear idea of what you want to say and how you want to say it, which makes the writing process much smoother and more efficient.

Furthermore, having a critical thinking essay outline can help you stay focused on the main topic and prevent you from deviating from the subject. It can be easy to get sidetracked when writing, especially when you have a lot of information to include. However, with a solid outline, you can stay on track and ensure that you’re writing only what is relevant to your essay. It is like a complete guide on critical thinking essay .

A critical thinking essay outline is important because it helps you:

  • Organize your thoughts and arguments
  • Identify gaps in your argument or areas where you need to do more research
  • Stay focused on the main topic
  • Ensure that you’re writing only what is relevant to your essay
  • Make the writing process smoother and more efficient.

Pre-Writing Tips for Creating a Successful Critical Thinking Essay Outline

You start with the introduction, where you first discuss the topic in great detail. This is where you introduce the topic to the reader, so you must ensure that this is done well. At this point, the reader decides whether or not they want to continue reading, so you have to ensure this is exceptionally done.

After this, you have to start with the essay’s main body, where you talk about your main argument. This is where you first state your thesis and then detail your opinion.

Not only do you have to talk about what you are saying in great detail, but you also have to give evidence about what you are saying. This is one of the most important things to ensure that things are done well. Also, you have to have critical thinking skills .

Toward the end, you conclude your essay. When doing this, you summarize the main argument and then work towards giving your final judgment so that the reader understands what you are trying to say well. 

When outlining your critical thinking essay, it is important to consider the organization of your thoughts. You should make sure that the information you present is clear and easy to follow. A well-organized outline helps you identify the most important points and ensures that you present them in a logical and effective manner.

To achieve this, it is recommended that you create a rough draft of your critical thinking essay outline. You can do this by jotting down your ideas on paper or typing them on a computer. This rough draft is important because it helps you see your ideas in writing and gives you an opportunity to refine them.

Another important tip for creating a successful critical thinking essay outline is to use critical thinking skills. This means that you should question and analyze the information that you find. You should also consider alternative points of view and be open to changing your own opinion based on the evidence that you uncover.

Key Elements to Include in Your Critical Thinking Essay

Here are a few helpful tips to help you write the best critical thinking essay. The idea is to ensure you get it right in the first instance. Also, in this video, about writing a critical analysis essay , you may find some interesting tips for your critical thinking essay outline, also an article in case you need more details .

1. Understand the Topic

The first and foremost thing you have to do is to understand the topic. Read it well, and then try to explain what you think it entails. Once you know, you can begin working on it. You must research and familiarize yourself well with the topic before writing it. This is one of the most important things there is to make sure that you get it right. If you struggle with understanding it, the first thing is to ask your instructor to guide you. You can only begin brainstorming once you know what you will work on. 

2. Read Your Sources 

Next, you must analyze your sources to see where you are getting your information. The information has to be authentic so that you work towards it in the best possible way. Use only sources that are very trustworthy to help you get the work done just right. You should also double-check to see if the information is right. 

3. Make an Outline 

Before you start writing, outline. This is one of the most important things when writing a critical thinking essay. Try to write down whatever thoughts you have. Next, you can analyze these thoughts well and then outline them. It has to start with the introduction and then move on to the rest of the areas. In this outline, it is important to draft everything very well, so you know what you are working on. Being organized helps you understand your thoughts well and enables you to ensure your ideas flow coherently. This is one of the most important things there is to help you make sure to write well. Even if you have notes that you think are important, you can write them well here. This will help you understand your thoughts in the best way possible. 

5. Start Writing Your Essay 

Once you have formulated an outline and have things sorted out, you can begin writing your essay as best as possible. When on it, you must follow the exact format that you have. When doing so, also make sure to write your arguments fully coherently. Finally, try to be very organized when writing the essay; you can find some tips here . This is crucial to help you do a tough job. 

6. Edit and Proofread 

Once done writing, you can edit and proofread it to check it well. When writing, you don’t realize that you are making mistakes. This is why you must proofread and check for any errors. Also, proofread to understand what you are doing. Check grammar and spelling as well. This will help you submit an essay that is parred at solid levels, in case you need critical thinking essay writing help – Writing Metier is at your service.

When writing a critical thinking essay, try to use your creativity best. Make sure you develop unique ideas, aiming to impress the reader and ensure they are fully engaged in what you are doing. Once done with this, fully well analyze your argument as well. 


Remember that you need to impress your readers. That is why developing new information and something great to give the readers is important.


Laura Orta is an avid author on Writing Metier's blog. Before embarking on her writing career, she practiced media law in one of the local media. Aside from writing, she works as a private tutor to help students with their academic needs. Laura and her husband share their home near the ocean in northern Portugal with two extraordinary boys and a lifetime collection of books.

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Critical Essay Writing

Critical Essay Outline

Cathy A.

Critical Essay Outline - Writing Guide With Examples

Published on: Oct 5, 2018

Last updated on: Dec 21, 2022

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Critical Essay - A Step by Step Guide & Examples

Good Critical Essay Topics To Impress Everyone

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A  critical essay  is the most common form of writing for academics. In this type of essay, a writer analyzes the text and then evaluates it for the audience. In addition to this, a writer forms a claim or stance and support it with evidence from the original text.

High school and college students frequently get to write this type of essay to enhance their analyzing and writing skills.

Writing an essay is a formal task. It requires a proper structure and outline. Continue reading this blog to know how a critical essay outline is drafted.

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How to Write a Critical Essay Outline?

Writing an outline is an essential part of drafting an effective essay. An outline is given to provide a sensible structure to the content through which a reader easily keeps track of the writer’s ideas and explanations.

When a writer conducts research on the topic and gathers relevant information, it needs to be represented in a readable form. An outline divides and organizes the information, making the content understandable for the readers.

A critical essay can be written using the standard structure or essay outline of five paragraphs:

  • Introduction
  • Body paragraph 1
  • Body paragraph 2
  • Body paragraph 3

All the researched and gathered information on the essay topic is divided into these five paragraphs. Separating the content will make the essay understandable and logical for the audience.

All essay types are written following this standard outline. To learn how a critical essay outline is drafted, follow the steps mentioned below.

Critical Essay Introduction

An introduction is the first section of a critical essay structure or outline. In this section, the essay topic or the subject matter is introduced. The chosen work, a film or piece of writing, is presented in the first section in an exciting way to attract the audience.

The purpose of writing an introduction is to make the audience aware of the topic and the primary objective of the essay.

  • Hook statement - A hook statement is an opening sentence of an essay introduction. Its purpose is to encourage the audience to read the essay. A hook statement can take any form, depending on the type and topic of the essay. A hook statement for a critical essay can be a factual statement, statistics, a question, or just an opinion depending on the writer’s preference.

Also, the brief intro of the author is given in the introductory paragraph by the writer. It is to make the audience familiar with the work and its creator in the essay.

The thesis statement developed should be strong as it is the essence of the whole essay. All the content in the remaining paragraphs will be defending and backing this one major argument of the writer.

Critical Essay Body Paragraphs

The main body of the essay is the section where all the details about the topic are presented. In this part, the main thesis statement is supported using evidence from the content. The body of the critical analysis essay is written in two sections.

The first section of the body includes a summary of the work. Here the writer presents objective information about the text. In addition to this, the author’s perspective is given, along with the intended message and the devices he used to persuade the audience. Write a summary in a third-person perspective and avoid giving your personal opinions here.

The second section in the main body of the essay is a detailed evaluation of the work by the writer. In this part, the writer critically evaluates every single detail in the original text. To draft this section, consider the following points:

  • Accuracy of the original work
  • Effectiveness of devices and techniques used
  • Implicit meanings
  • Language and tone
  • How objective was the author in describing both sides of an issue?
  • Logical organization of the work
  • Strength of the arguments and message

The information presented in this section will be the supporting explanation for the thesis statement made earlier in the introduction. Make sure to give logical and strong evidence from the text to persuade the audience.

All the paragraphs in the body section start using a topic sentence. The topic sentence carries the major idea discussed in the rest of the sentences of the paragraph. This gives a smooth flow to the content and makes it understandable for the readers.

Critical Essay Conclusion

After providing the evidence to support your thesis statement in the body paragraphs, your essay needs a conclusion. A conclusion is offered to give your discussion closure.

To write an effective conclusion, restate your thesis statement in the concluding paragraphs in paraphrased words. This is to refer back all your discussion to the major point. Pay close attention while drafting a conclusion as it is equally important as the other two sections. Also, it will remind the reader of the main topic and objective of critical writing.

Moreover, the combination of the actual work and the analysis is evaluated to present the effectiveness of the original as well as the analyzed work. This will be a summary of all the discussed major points in the critical analysis essay.

Also, state the limitations, if any, in the original content or the flaws in the author’s depiction of the ideas and concepts. At the end of the concluding paragraphs, provide a final verdict. The final verdict can be a closing statement or a ‘Call-To-Action,” depending on the topic and the work.

Critical Essay Outline Template (PDF)

Critical Essay Example

When writing a critical essay for academics, the smallest mistake can make you risk your grades and your reputation. It is advised by professionals to always go through examples before drafting any piece of work.

Going through an example will let you decide on the tone and structure to be selected for your critical paper. The example of a critical essay provided below will help you start writing an essay without any doubts.

Critical Essay Sample (PDF)

A perfect outline will guarantee a successful and effective essay. No matter how near the deadline is, never rush to write an essay without forming an outline. Make sure the critical reading of the original content is done. Moreover, carefully divide your information into the introduction, body, and conclusion sections.

If you think your writing and analyzing skills are not up to the mark, you can always take help from an expert essay writer. is an essay writing service that provides guidance and assistance to all students. No matter what field or level you belong to, provides academic writing services for everyone. Moreover, if you are looking for free essay samples and original content, is the right place. 

Hire our essay writer to write a critical analysis essay by placing an order today at an extremely affordable price.

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Home — Essay Samples — Education — Studying Process — Critical Thinking

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Essays on Critical Thinking

Critical thinking essay topics and outline examples, essay title 1: the power of critical thinking: developing analytical skills for effective decision-making.

Thesis Statement: This essay explores the significance of critical thinking in everyday life, emphasizing the development of analytical skills, their application in decision-making, and their role in problem-solving.

  • Introduction
  • Understanding Critical Thinking: Definition and Importance
  • The Components of Critical Thinking: Analysis, Evaluation, and Inference
  • Real-World Applications: Critical Thinking in Personal and Professional Settings
  • Problem-Solving: How Critical Thinking Enhances Decision-Making
  • Critical Thinking Exercises: Strategies for Developing Analytical Skills
  • Educational Approaches: Promoting Critical Thinking in Schools and Workplaces
  • Conclusion: Empowering Individuals with the Tools of Critical Thinking

Essay Title 2: Critical Thinking in a Digital Age: Navigating Information, Media Literacy, and Fact-Checking

Thesis Statement: This essay examines the role of critical thinking in the digital age, emphasizing the importance of media literacy, information evaluation, and fact-checking in a world inundated with information.

  • The Information Age: The Abundance of Information and Its Challenges
  • Media Literacy: Teaching Individuals to Analyze News and Online Content
  • Fact-Checking and Misinformation: The Spread of Fake News
  • Critical Consumption: Strategies for Evaluating Sources and Claims
  • Critical Thinking Tools: Critical Appraisal and Skepticism
  • Technology and Critical Thinking: Digital Tools for Analyzing Information
  • Conclusion: Navigating the Digital World with Critical Thinking Skills

Essay Title 3: Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving in the Workplace: Enhancing Productivity and Innovation

Thesis Statement: This essay focuses on the importance of critical thinking and problem-solving skills in the workplace, highlighting their role in enhancing productivity, fostering innovation, and improving decision-making processes.

  • Critical Thinking in Business: Identifying Problems and Opportunities
  • Decision-Making: Utilizing Critical Thinking to Make Informed Choices
  • Team Collaboration: The Role of Critical Thinking in Group Dynamics
  • Innovation and Creativity: Critical Thinking as a Catalyst for New Ideas
  • Leadership and Critical Thinking: Shaping Effective Managers and Executives
  • Training and Development: Strategies for Enhancing Critical Thinking in the Workplace
  • Conclusion: Fostering a Culture of Critical Thinking in Organizations

Skills Needed to Be Successful in Life: Power of Critical Thinking

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An Assessment of My Critical Thinking and The Impact of Hum 101 on My Thinking

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Critical thinking refers to the ability to analyze information objectively and make a reasoned judgment. It involves the evaluation of sources, such as data, facts, observable phenomena, and research findings.

The subject is complex: several different definitions exist, which generally include the rational, skeptical, and unbiased analysis or evaluation of factual evidence. Critical thinking is self-directed, self-disciplined, self-monitored, and self-corrective thinking. It presupposes assent to rigorous standards of excellence and mindful command of their use. It entails effective communication and problem-solving abilities as well as a commitment to overcome native egocentrism and sociocentrism.

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critical thinking paper outline

critical thinking paper outline

Writing to Think: Critical Thinking and the Writing Process

“Writing is thinking on paper.” (Zinsser, 1976, p. vii)

Google the term “critical thinking.” How many hits are there? On the day this tutorial was completed, Google found about 65,100,000 results in 0.56 seconds. That’s an impressive number, and it grows more impressively large every day. That’s because the nation’s educators, business leaders, and political representatives worry about the level of critical thinking skills among today’s students and workers.

What is Critical Thinking?

Simply put, critical thinking is sound thinking. Critical thinkers work to delve beneath the surface of sweeping generalizations, biases, clichés, and other quick observations that characterize ineffective thinking. They are willing to consider points of view different from their own, seek and study evidence and examples, root out sloppy and illogical argument, discern fact from opinion, embrace reason over emotion or preference, and change their minds when confronted with compelling reasons to do so. In sum, critical thinkers are flexible thinkers equipped to become active and effective spouses, parents, friends, consumers, employees, citizens, and leaders. Every area of life, in other words, can be positively affected by strong critical thinking.

Released in January 2011, an important study of college students over four years concluded that by graduation “large numbers [of American undergraduates] didn’t learn the critical thinking, complex reasoning and written communication skills that are widely assumed to be at the core of a college education” (Rimer, 2011, para. 1). The University designs curriculum, creates support programs, and hires faculty to help ensure you won’t be one of the students “[showing]no significant gains in . . . ‘higher order’ thinking skills” (Rimer, 2011, para. 4). One way the University works to help you build those skills is through writing projects.

Writing and Critical Thinking

Say the word “writing” and most people think of a completed publication. But say the word “writing” to writers, and they will likely think of the process of composing. Most writers would agree with novelist E. M. Forster, who wrote, “How can I know what I think until I see what I say?” (Forster, 1927, p. 99). Experienced writers know that the act of writing stimulates thinking.

Inexperienced and experienced writers have very different understandings of composition. Novice writers often make the mistake of believing they have to know what they’re going to write before they can begin writing. They often compose a thesis statement before asking questions or conducting research. In the course of their reading, they might even disregard material that counters their pre-formed ideas. This is not writing; it is recording.

In contrast, experienced writers begin with questions and work to discover many different answers before settling on those that are most convincing. They know that the act of putting words on paper or a computer screen helps them invent thought and content. Rather than trying to express what they already think, they express what the act of writing leads them to think as they put down words. More often than not, in other words, experienced writers write their way into ideas, which they then develop, revise, and refine as they go.

What has this notion of writing to do with critical thinking? Everything.

Consider the steps of the writing process: prewriting, outlining, drafting, revising, editing, seeking feedback, and publishing. These steps are not followed in a determined or strict order; instead, the effective writer knows that as they write, it may be necessary to return to an earlier step. In other words, in the process of revision, a writer may realize that the order of ideas is unclear. A new outline may help that writer re-order details. As they write, the writer considers and reconsiders the effectiveness of the work.

The writing process, then, is not just a mirror image of the thinking process: it is the thinking process. Confronted with a topic, an effective critical thinker/writer

  • asks questions
  • seeks answers
  • evaluates evidence
  • questions assumptions
  • tests hypotheses
  • makes inferences
  • employs logic
  • draws conclusions
  • predicts readers’ responses
  • creates order
  • drafts content
  • seeks others’ responses
  • weighs feedback
  • criticizes their own work
  • revises content and structure
  • seeks clarity and coherence

Example of Composition as Critical Thinking

“Good writing is fueled by unanswerable questions” (Lane, 1993, p. 15).

Imagine that you have been asked to write about a hero or heroine from history. You must explain what challenges that individual faced and how they conquered them. Now imagine that you decide to write about Rosa Parks and her role in the modern Civil Rights movement. Take a moment and survey what you already know. She refused to get up out of her seat on a bus so a White man could sit in it. She was arrested. As a result, Blacks in Montgomery protested, influencing the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Martin Luther King, Jr. took up leadership of the cause, and ultimately a movement was born.

Is that really all there is to Rosa Parks’s story? What questions might a thoughtful writer ask? Here a few:

  • Why did Rosa Parks refuse to get up on that particular day?
  • Was hers a spontaneous or planned act of defiance?
  • Did she work? Where? Doing what?
  • Had any other Black person refused to get up for a White person?
  • What happened to that individual or those individuals?
  • Why hadn’t that person or those persons received the publicity Parks did?
  • Was Parks active in Civil Rights before that day?
  • How did she learn about civil disobedience?

Even just these few questions could lead to potentially rich information.

Factual information would not be enough, however, to satisfy an assignment that asks for an interpretation of that information. The writer’s job for the assignment is to convince the reader that Parks was a heroine; in this way the writer must make an argument and support it. The writer must establish standards of heroic behavior. More questions arise:

  • What is heroic action?
  • What are the characteristics of someone who is heroic?
  • What do heroes value and believe?
  • What are the consequences of a hero’s actions?
  • Why do they matter?

Now the writer has even more research and more thinking to do.

By the time they have raised questions and answered them, raised more questions and answered them, and so on, they are ready to begin writing. But even then, new ideas will arise in the course of planning and drafting, inevitably leading the writer to more research and thought, to more composition and refinement.

Ultimately, every step of the way over the course of composing a project, the writer is engaged in critical thinking because the effective writer examines the work as they develop it.

Why Writing to Think Matters

Writing practice builds critical thinking, which empowers people to “take charge of [their] own minds” so they “can take charge of [their] own lives . . . and improve them, bringing them under [their] self command and direction” (Foundation for Critical Thinking, 2020, para. 12). Writing is a way of coming to know and understand the self and the changing world, enabling individuals to make decisions that benefit themselves, others, and society at large. Your knowledge alone – of law, medicine, business, or education, for example – will not be enough to meet future challenges. You will be tested by new unexpected circumstances, and when they arise, the open-mindedness, flexibility, reasoning, discipline, and discernment you have learned through writing practice will help you meet those challenges successfully.

Forster, E.M. (1927).  Aspects of the novel . Harcourt, Brace & Company.

The Foundation for Critical Thinking. (2020, June 17).  Our concept and definition of critical thinking .

Lane, B. (1993).  After the end: Teaching and learning creative revision . Heinemann.

Rimer, S. (2011, January 18).  Study: Many college students not learning to think critically . The Hechinger Report.

Zinsser, W. (1976).  On writing well: The classic guide to writing nonfiction . HarperCollins.

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11.5 Critical Thinking and Research Applications

Learning objectives.

  • Analyze source materials to determine how they support or refute the working thesis.
  • Identify connections between source materials and eliminate redundant or irrelevant source materials.
  • Identify instances when it is appropriate to use human sources, such as interviews or eyewitness testimony.
  • Select information from sources to begin answering the research questions.
  • Determine an appropriate organizational structure for the research paper that uses critical analysis to connect the writer’s ideas and information taken from sources.

At this point in your project, you are preparing to move from the research phase to the writing phase. You have gathered much of the information you will use, and soon you will be ready to begin writing your draft. This section helps you transition smoothly from one phase to the next.

Beginning writers sometimes attempt to transform a pile of note cards into a formal research paper without any intermediary step. This approach presents problems. The writer’s original question and thesis may be buried in a flood of disconnected details taken from research sources. The first draft may present redundant or contradictory information. Worst of all, the writer’s ideas and voice may be lost.

An effective research paper focuses on the writer’s ideas—from the question that sparked the research process to how the writer answers that question based on the research findings. Before beginning a draft, or even an outline, good writers pause and reflect. They ask themselves questions such as the following:

  • How has my thinking changed based on my research? What have I learned?
  • Was my working thesis on target? Do I need to rework my thesis based on what I have learned?
  • How does the information in my sources mesh with my research questions and help me answer those questions? Have any additional important questions or subtopics come up that I will need to address in my paper?
  • How do my sources complement each other? What ideas or facts recur in multiple sources?
  • Where do my sources disagree with each other, and why?

In this section, you will reflect on your research and review the information you have gathered. You will determine what you now think about your topic. You will synthesize , or put together, different pieces of information that help you answer your research questions. Finally, you will determine the organizational structure that works best for your paper and begin planning your outline.

Review the research questions and working thesis you developed in Chapter 11 “Writing from Research: What Will I Learn?” , Section 11.2 “Steps in Developing a Research Proposal” . Set a timer for ten minutes and write about your topic, using your questions and thesis to guide your writing. Complete this exercise without looking over your notes or sources. Base your writing on the overall impressions and concepts you have absorbed while conducting research. If additional, related questions come to mind, jot them down.

Selecting Useful Information

At this point in the research process, you have gathered information from a wide variety of sources. Now it is time to think about how you will use this information as a writer.

When you conduct research, you keep an open mind and seek out many promising sources. You take notes on any information that looks like it might help you answer your research questions. Often, new ideas and terms come up in your reading, and these, too, find their way into your notes. You may record facts or quotations that catch your attention even if they did not seem immediately relevant to your research question. By now, you have probably amassed an impressively detailed collection of notes.

You will not use all of your notes in your paper.

Good researchers are thorough. They look at multiple perspectives, facts, and ideas related to their topic, and they gather a great deal of information. Effective writers, however, are selective. They determine which information is most relevant and appropriate for their purpose. They include details that develop or explain their ideas—and they leave out details that do not. The writer, not the pile of notes, is the controlling force. The writer shapes the content of the research paper.

While working through Chapter 11 “Writing from Research: What Will I Learn?” , Section 11.4 “Strategies for Gathering Reliable Information” , you used strategies to filter out unreliable or irrelevant sources and details. Now you will apply your critical-thinking skills to the information you recorded—analyzing how it is relevant, determining how it meshes with your ideas, and finding how it forms connections and patterns.

Writing at Work

When you create workplace documents based on research, selectivity remains important. A project team may spend months conducting market surveys to prepare for rolling out a new product, but few managers have time to read the research in its entirety. Most employees want the research distilled into a few well-supported points. Focused, concise writing is highly valued in the workplace.

Identify Information That Supports Your Thesis

In Note 11.81 “Exercise 1” , you revisited your research questions and working thesis. The process of writing informally helped you see how you might begin to pull together what you have learned from your research. Do not feel anxious, however, if you still have trouble seeing the big picture. Systematically looking through your notes will help you.

Begin by identifying the notes that clearly support your thesis. Mark or group these, either physically or using the cut-and-paste function in your word-processing program. As you identify the crucial details that support your thesis, make sure you analyze them critically. Ask the following questions to focus your thinking:

  • Is this detail from a reliable, high-quality source? Is it appropriate for me to cite this source in an academic paper? The bulk of the support for your thesis should come from reliable, reputable sources. If most of the details that support your thesis are from less-reliable sources, you may need to do additional research or modify your thesis.
  • Is the link between this information and my thesis obvious—or will I need to explain it to my readers? Remember, you have spent more time thinking and reading about this topic than your audience. Some connections might be obvious to both you and your readers. More often, however, you will need to provide the analysis or explanation that shows how the information supports your thesis. As you read through your notes, jot down ideas you have for making those connections clear.
  • What personal biases or experiences might affect the way I interpret this information? No researcher is 100 percent objective. We all have personal opinions and experiences that influence our reactions to what we read and learn. Good researchers are aware of this human tendency. They keep an open mind when they read opinions or facts that contradict their beliefs.

It can be tempting to ignore information that does not support your thesis or that contradicts it outright. However, such information is important. At the very least, it gives you a sense of what has been written about the issue. More importantly, it can help you question and refine your own thinking so that writing your research paper is a true learning process.

Find Connections between Your Sources

As you find connections between your ideas and information in your sources, also look for information that connects your sources. Do most sources seem to agree on a particular idea? Are some facts mentioned repeatedly in many different sources? What key terms or major concepts come up in most of your sources regardless of whether the sources agree on the finer points? Identifying these connections will help you identify important ideas to discuss in your paper.

Look for subtler ways your sources complement one another, too. Does one author refer to another’s book or article? How do sources that are more recent build upon the ideas developed in earlier sources?

Be aware of any redundancies in your sources. If you have amassed solid support from a reputable source, such as a scholarly journal, there is no need to cite the same facts from an online encyclopedia article that is many steps removed from any primary research. If a given source adds nothing new to your discussion and you can cite a stronger source for the same information, use the stronger source.

Determine how you will address any contradictions found among different sources. For instance, if one source cites a startling fact that you cannot confirm anywhere else, it is safe to dismiss the information as unreliable. However, if you find significant disagreements among reliable sources, you will need to review them and evaluate each source. Which source presents a sounder argument or more solid evidence? It is up to you to determine which source is the most credible and why.

Finally, do not ignore any information simply because it does not support your thesis. Carefully consider how that information fits into the big picture of your research. You may decide that the source is unreliable or the information is not relevant, or you may decide that it is an important point you need to bring up. What matters is that you give it careful consideration.

As Jorge reviewed his research, he realized that some of the information was not especially useful for his purpose. His notes included several statements about the relationship between soft drinks that are high in sugar and childhood obesity—a subtopic that was too far outside of the main focus of the paper. Jorge decided to cut this material.

Reevaluate Your Working Thesis

A careful analysis of your notes will help you reevaluate your working thesis and determine whether you need to revise it. Remember that your working thesis was the starting point—not necessarily the end point—of your research. You should revise your working thesis if your ideas changed based on what you read. Even if your sources generally confirmed your preliminary thinking on the topic, it is still a good idea to tweak the wording of your thesis to incorporate the specific details you learned from research.

Jorge realized that his working thesis oversimplified the issues. He still believed that the media was exaggerating the benefits of low-carb diets. However, his research led him to conclude that these diets did have some advantages. Read Jorge’s revised thesis.

Although following a low-carbohydrate diet can benefit some people, these diets are not necessarily the best option for everyone who wants to lose weight or improve their health.

Synthesizing and Organizing Information

By now your thinking on your topic is taking shape. You have a sense of what major ideas to address in your paper, what points you can easily support, and what questions or subtopics might need a little more thought. In short, you have begun the process of synthesizing information—that is, of putting the pieces together into a coherent whole.

It is normal to find this part of the process a little difficult. Some questions or concepts may still be unclear to you. You may not yet know how you will tie all of your research together. Synthesizing information is a complex, demanding mental task, and even experienced researchers struggle with it at times. A little uncertainty is often a good sign! It means you are challenging yourself to work thoughtfully with your topic instead of simply restating the same information.

Use Your Research Questions to Synthesize Information

You have already considered how your notes fit with your working thesis. Now, take your synthesis a step further. Analyze how your notes relate to your major research question and the subquestions you identified in Chapter 11 “Writing from Research: What Will I Learn?” , Section 11.2 “Steps in Developing a Research Proposal” . Organize your notes with headings that correspond to those questions. As you proceed, you might identify some important subtopics that were not part of your original plan, or you might decide that some questions are not relevant to your paper.

Categorize information carefully and continue to think critically about the material. Ask yourself whether the sources are reliable and whether the connections between ideas are clear.

Remember, your ideas and conclusions will shape the paper. They are the glue that holds the rest of the content together. As you work, begin jotting down the big ideas you will use to connect the dots for your reader. (If you are not sure where to begin, try answering your major research question and subquestions. Add and answer new questions as appropriate.) You might record these big ideas on sticky notes or type and highlight them within an electronic document.

Jorge looked back on the list of research questions that he had written down earlier. He changed a few to match his new thesis, and he began a rough outline for his paper.

Jorge's rough outline

Review your research questions and working thesis again. This time, keep them nearby as you review your research notes.

  • Identify information that supports your working thesis.
  • Identify details that call your thesis into question. Determine whether you need to modify your thesis.
  • Use your research questions to identify key ideas in your paper. Begin categorizing your notes according to which topics are addressed. (You may find yourself adding important topics or deleting unimportant ones as you proceed.)
  • Write out your revised thesis and at least two or three big ideas.

You may be wondering how your ideas are supposed to shape the paper, especially since you are writing a research paper based on your research. Integrating your ideas and your information from research is a complex process, and sometimes it can be difficult to separate the two.

Some paragraphs in your paper will consist mostly of details from your research. That is fine, as long as you explain what those details mean or how they are linked. You should also include sentences and transitions that show the relationship between different facts from your research by grouping related ideas or pointing out connections or contrasts. The result is that you are not simply presenting information; you are synthesizing, analyzing, and interpreting it.

Plan How to Organize Your Paper

The final step to complete before beginning your draft is to choose an organizational structure. For some assignments, this may be determined by the instructor’s requirements. For instance, if you are asked to explore the impact of a new communications device, a cause-and-effect structure is obviously appropriate. In other cases, you will need to determine the structure based on what suits your topic and purpose. For more information about the structures used in writing, see Chapter 10 “Rhetorical Modes” .

The purpose of Jorge’s paper was primarily to persuade. With that in mind, he planned the following outline.

An outline for Jorge's paper

Review the organizational structures discussed in this section and Chapter 10 “Rhetorical Modes” . Working with the notes you organized earlier, follow these steps to begin planning how to organize your paper.

  • Create an outline that includes your thesis, major subtopics, and supporting points.
  • The major headings in your outline will become sections or paragraphs in your paper. Remember that your ideas should form the backbone of the paper. For each major section of your outline, write out a topic sentence stating the main point you will make in that section.
  • As you complete step 2, you may find that some points are too complex to explain in a sentence. Consider whether any major sections of your outline need to be broken up and jot down additional topic sentences as needed.
  • Review your notes and determine how the different pieces of information fit into your outline as supporting points.


Please share the outline you created with a classmate. Examine your classmate’s outline and see if any questions come to mind or if you see any area that would benefit from an additional point or clarification. Return the outlines to each other and compare observations.

The structures described in this section and Chapter 10 “Rhetorical Modes” can also help you organize information in different types of workplace documents. For instance, medical incident reports and police reports follow a chronological structure. If the company must choose between two vendors to provide a service, you might write an e-mail to your supervisor comparing and contrasting the choices. Understanding when and how to use each organizational structure can help you write workplace documents efficiently and effectively.

Key Takeaways

  • An effective research paper focuses on presenting the writer’s ideas using information from research as support.
  • Effective writers spend time reviewing, synthesizing, and organizing their research notes before they begin drafting a research paper.
  • It is important for writers to revisit their research questions and working thesis as they transition from the research phase to the writing phrase of a project. Usually, the working thesis will need at least minor adjustments.
  • To organize a research paper, writers choose a structure that is appropriate for the topic and purpose. Longer papers may make use of more than one structure.

Writing for Success Copyright © 2015 by University of Minnesota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

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Critical Essay

Critical Essay Outline

John K.

Critical Essay Outline - Easy Guide for Students

Published on: Dec 5, 2019

Last updated on: May 26, 2023

Critical Essay Outline

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A  critical essay  is important academic writing where the author’s job is to analyze and interpret a text. For a critical essay, you need to make a claim and support it with evidence.

Critical essays are one of the common essay writing assignments that high school and college students usually deal with. Sometimes referred to as the analytical essay, a critical essay is about analyzing and evaluating someone’s work.

If you are assigned to write a critical analysis essay, the first step of the writing process is to create an outline. In this blog, we will reveal how to create a critical essay outline in simple steps.

You cannot write a great critical essay without creating its outline first. An outline is the only way to save your time and organize your thoughts and ideas in the first place.

In this step, you need to decide on the arguments and evidence to evaluate in your essay. You will have all the arguments to support your thesis statement.

The outline will help you see how your essay is supposed to look like. Once you have created the rough outline, you can change it or add more details later to make the essay more effective.

As with any other academic essay, critical essays also follow the 5-paragraph essay structure.

Introduction (1 Paragraph)

Body Paragraphs (3 Paragraphs)

Conclusion (1 Paragraph)

Here is a step-by-step guide to help you understand what to include in each section of a critical essay.

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The introduction is the first part of the critical essay outline. Make sure you have done critical reading before you start to create an outline of your critical essay.

To write an introduction, you need to hook your readers and persuade them to continue reading.

Here is how a critical essay introduction is written.

  • First, you need to introduce your topic and let the readers know about what the essay is about while writing the  essay introduction .
  • Secondly, state the author’s main point of the work that you are going to evaluate. Then state your evaluation of the work. This would be your  thesis statement .
  • Add some information helpful for the reader to understand the overall context of the topic.

Body Paragraphs

The most detailed part of the critical essay is the body section. It includes a minimum of three paragraphs depending upon the essay topic. Each body paragraph addresses a particular issue and provides evidential information to support the claim.

In the first section, you need to provide a brief, objective, and unbiased summary of the work. Remember, you are evaluating a piece of information to tell the reader about the author’s point and support it.

Provide the summary in the third person, and no need to mention your personal opinion.

In the second section, interpret and evaluate the work. This is the point where you start the analysis. Evaluate the strong and weak points of the work. After the evaluation, support the thesis of your essay that you have mentioned in the introduction.

This is the last part of your essay in which you need to restate the thesis statement. For an effective critical essay conclusion, read your work from the start. It will help you emphasize the right points in the conclusion.

First, provide your general opinion about the work and whether you agree with the author’s point of view. Indicate the importance of the analyzed work and if it has more room for further research.

Remind the readers of the topic’s significance and provide the overall strengths and weaknesses of the analyzed work.

Critical Essay Outline Template

Most critical essays start with a short summary of the work and then explain the main argument. Since most of the critical essays are short unless the topic is too complex.

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Creating an outline is crucial to remain focused on your claim and avoid writing unnecessary information.

Following is the most commonly used critical essay layout for you to understand how to create an outline step by step.

  • Attention grabber
  • Background information about the topic
  • Thesis statement
  • Topic sentence
  • Supporting details
  • Transition sentence
  • Restate the thesis statement
  • Summary of the key points
  • Closing sentence

Here is a detailed critical paper outline template to understand the concept even better.

Critical Essay Outline Template | Sample PDF

You can also refer to our free essays and understand what to include in each section of your critical essay.

Critical Essay Outline Example

Before starting the writing process, the best approach is to read sample outlines. You can easily find helpful examples of a critical analysis essay outline to get an idea of what critical essays look like.

Refer to the critical essay outline sample and learn how to suture your critical essay.

Hopefully, now you know how to create an outline to put your arguments in order. Creating an outline will help you write your critical essay fast and be consistent with your ideas.

If you are still not sure how to approach your critical essay assignment, get help from professionals.  is the best essay writing service where you can hire a professional  essay writer  and get your essay done.

Simply contact and let us know your essay requirement, and we will get it done within your deadline.

Place your  order  now for a well-written essay and get the grade you hope for!

John K. (Research)

John K. is a professional writer and author with many publications to his name. He has a Ph.D. in the field of management sciences, making him an expert on the subject matter. John is highly sought after for his insights and knowledge, and he regularly delivers keynote speeches and conducts workshops on various topics related to writing and publishing. He is also a regular contributor to various online publications.

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  • What Is Critical Thinking? | Definition & Examples

What Is Critical Thinking? | Definition & Examples

Published on May 30, 2022 by Eoghan Ryan . Revised on May 31, 2023.

Critical thinking is the ability to effectively analyze information and form a judgment .

To think critically, you must be aware of your own biases and assumptions when encountering information, and apply consistent standards when evaluating sources .

Critical thinking skills help you to:

  • Identify credible sources
  • Evaluate and respond to arguments
  • Assess alternative viewpoints
  • Test hypotheses against relevant criteria

Table of contents

Why is critical thinking important, critical thinking examples, how to think critically, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about critical thinking.

Critical thinking is important for making judgments about sources of information and forming your own arguments. It emphasizes a rational, objective, and self-aware approach that can help you to identify credible sources and strengthen your conclusions.

Critical thinking is important in all disciplines and throughout all stages of the research process . The types of evidence used in the sciences and in the humanities may differ, but critical thinking skills are relevant to both.

In academic writing , critical thinking can help you to determine whether a source:

  • Is free from research bias
  • Provides evidence to support its research findings
  • Considers alternative viewpoints

Outside of academia, critical thinking goes hand in hand with information literacy to help you form opinions rationally and engage independently and critically with popular media.

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critical thinking paper outline

Critical thinking can help you to identify reliable sources of information that you can cite in your research paper . It can also guide your own research methods and inform your own arguments.

Outside of academia, critical thinking can help you to be aware of both your own and others’ biases and assumptions.

Academic examples

However, when you compare the findings of the study with other current research, you determine that the results seem improbable. You analyze the paper again, consulting the sources it cites.

You notice that the research was funded by the pharmaceutical company that created the treatment. Because of this, you view its results skeptically and determine that more independent research is necessary to confirm or refute them. Example: Poor critical thinking in an academic context You’re researching a paper on the impact wireless technology has had on developing countries that previously did not have large-scale communications infrastructure. You read an article that seems to confirm your hypothesis: the impact is mainly positive. Rather than evaluating the research methodology, you accept the findings uncritically.

Nonacademic examples

However, you decide to compare this review article with consumer reviews on a different site. You find that these reviews are not as positive. Some customers have had problems installing the alarm, and some have noted that it activates for no apparent reason.

You revisit the original review article. You notice that the words “sponsored content” appear in small print under the article title. Based on this, you conclude that the review is advertising and is therefore not an unbiased source. Example: Poor critical thinking in a nonacademic context You support a candidate in an upcoming election. You visit an online news site affiliated with their political party and read an article that criticizes their opponent. The article claims that the opponent is inexperienced in politics. You accept this without evidence, because it fits your preconceptions about the opponent.

There is no single way to think critically. How you engage with information will depend on the type of source you’re using and the information you need.

However, you can engage with sources in a systematic and critical way by asking certain questions when you encounter information. Like the CRAAP test , these questions focus on the currency , relevance , authority , accuracy , and purpose of a source of information.

When encountering information, ask:

  • Who is the author? Are they an expert in their field?
  • What do they say? Is their argument clear? Can you summarize it?
  • When did they say this? Is the source current?
  • Where is the information published? Is it an academic article? Is it peer-reviewed ?
  • Why did the author publish it? What is their motivation?
  • How do they make their argument? Is it backed up by evidence? Does it rely on opinion, speculation, or appeals to emotion ? Do they address alternative arguments?

Critical thinking also involves being aware of your own biases, not only those of others. When you make an argument or draw your own conclusions, you can ask similar questions about your own writing:

  • Am I only considering evidence that supports my preconceptions?
  • Is my argument expressed clearly and backed up with credible sources?
  • Would I be convinced by this argument coming from someone else?

If you want to know more about ChatGPT, AI tools , citation , and plagiarism , make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples.

  • ChatGPT vs human editor
  • ChatGPT citations
  • Is ChatGPT trustworthy?
  • Using ChatGPT for your studies
  • What is ChatGPT?
  • Chicago style
  • Paraphrasing


  • Types of plagiarism
  • Self-plagiarism
  • Avoiding plagiarism
  • Academic integrity
  • Consequences of plagiarism
  • Common knowledge

Critical thinking refers to the ability to evaluate information and to be aware of biases or assumptions, including your own.

Like information literacy , it involves evaluating arguments, identifying and solving problems in an objective and systematic way, and clearly communicating your ideas.

Critical thinking skills include the ability to:

You can assess information and arguments critically by asking certain questions about the source. You can use the CRAAP test , focusing on the currency , relevance , authority , accuracy , and purpose of a source of information.

Ask questions such as:

  • Who is the author? Are they an expert?
  • How do they make their argument? Is it backed up by evidence?

A credible source should pass the CRAAP test  and follow these guidelines:

  • The information should be up to date and current.
  • The author and publication should be a trusted authority on the subject you are researching.
  • The sources the author cited should be easy to find, clear, and unbiased.
  • For a web source, the URL and layout should signify that it is trustworthy.

Information literacy refers to a broad range of skills, including the ability to find, evaluate, and use sources of information effectively.

Being information literate means that you:

  • Know how to find credible sources
  • Use relevant sources to inform your research
  • Understand what constitutes plagiarism
  • Know how to cite your sources correctly

Confirmation bias is the tendency to search, interpret, and recall information in a way that aligns with our pre-existing values, opinions, or beliefs. It refers to the ability to recollect information best when it amplifies what we already believe. Relatedly, we tend to forget information that contradicts our opinions.

Although selective recall is a component of confirmation bias, it should not be confused with recall bias.

On the other hand, recall bias refers to the differences in the ability between study participants to recall past events when self-reporting is used. This difference in accuracy or completeness of recollection is not related to beliefs or opinions. Rather, recall bias relates to other factors, such as the length of the recall period, age, and the characteristics of the disease under investigation.

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Other students also liked, student guide: information literacy | meaning & examples, what are credible sources & how to spot them | examples, applying the craap test & evaluating sources.

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Critical Thinking Essay Topics & Ideas

July 14, 2017

It just does not matter what the type of paper you should write. Many people are afraid to write papers. The only thing that matters is your experience with writing this exact type of paper.

And when it is time for students to deal with a critical essay they find it difficult even to start. And our custom essay writing service knows well how tough this task can be. There are lots of supporting materials online, and you can easily add our hints to the entire picture.

Almost every student can write this type of paper. But the best way to make it successful is to improve your skills for that particular piece of writing.

Critical thinking essay definition

Actually, this type of essay will give you lots of advantages for your studying and everyday life. When you learn how to write a critical thinking essay, there will be lots of perspectives for you. Criticism is a great part of our life. It is involved with such simple things like choosing bread in your local shop and goes up to more important life decisions.

A good paper will also teach you to read focused and research effectively. Thus, to dig into the topic and get it right just read few of our simple but helpful tips and hints.

Your paper will start with the topic. You should choose one that is the most interesting for you as a writer. Then after that decision, you will be able to plan your research and further work. Before start, you can read few different guides about how to write a critical essay. There are lots of them online nowadays, and you will easily find everything you need. But still, you need to have perfect critical thinking skills .

The next step will be the research information. It should be absolutely useful with no boring parts. There will be no use if the facts you will find are just too common or too narrow. Also, you should be sure about your sources. Wikipedia is not the best one in this case.

The sources for your research can be absolutely different such as journals, articles, books, news, and even encyclopedias. Do not forget to use critical thinking. The tip for successful research is to get as much information for your critical analysis essay as you can. The more information you have on your paper, the best quality you can develop while writing.

But you should keep in mind that the information for your task should be brief and clear.

You can read your researched material over and over again. It will help you to separate some fascinating data from irrelevant and useless one. Let’s mention few more words about the sources and how to apply critical thinking to practice.

The best information will be interesting. Try to avoid those extremely boring points. You can believe us because we did lots of great college application papers. Before you sit for writing, you should do an outline.

Do not try to polish it and make perfect. 

Start with the Outline

The perfect outline is that is comfortable for you. If you are required to be simple and raw, just do it. You can base your outline on your research notes. It will be the best choice for you. Then you will have your map for writing and can start with the initial part of your essay .

No matter what part you are going to write at first. In our company writers do their steps in their own way. You can even start with your conclusion. Take into account that the most interesting facts should be included in the Body paragraphs. Your research material will help you to fill gaps with interesting details, facts, and supporting points.

Do not forget to cite all the borrowed material.

The outline is particularly useful for critical thinking assignment when you were assigned some disputable topic. You have lots of ideas in mind fighting each other and making you confused. If you don’t organize them, the whole paper will look messy.

You need some plan to stick with and keep your thoughts flowing in the right direction. This is where outlining is a great technique to help you along this path and make an excellent critical thinking paper.

The Template

Consider the following points when composing your critical thinking essay:


Think what ideas you will include in the opening paragraph. These should be something attention-grabbing and meaningful.

Usually, introduction contains a thesis statement, ideas representing the topic or central problem and some background information to introduce readers to the topic. Explain clearly what you are going to write about.

As far as we are dealing with 5 paragraph outline, let’s split its body into 3 parts. Start each passage with a topic sentence.

Then jot down some ideas to exemplify it and finally add a few lines to explain the evidence. Do not forget to analyze the arguments.

The closing part of your outline is of great importance. Here you need to summarize all main points or support particular solution to the problem.

Hence, be attentive not to miss any crucial evidence. List core ideas that will discuss your essay and lead to a meaningful conclusion.

General Writing Tips

Narrow down your topic . You may have lots of ideas that might contribute to your essay, but not all of them are worth mentioning in an outline. That’s why try to select most interesting and thought-provoking. If you have difficulties, draw a mind map and try brainstorming to come up with essential data;

Let ideas flow. Write whatever comes to your mind. Don’t pay attention to spelling or grammar. It is just the draft where you are trying to single out topic-related ideas. Then look what you’ve got. There is likely to be information you need in your draft essay you can use;

Consider listing ideas. Alternatively, to mind mapping, you can create a list of ideas that you have for your paper. Simply sort them out according to their importance and informative value.

Common Critical Thinking Essay Topics

Here you have some topics for critical essay. Just choose topic you like the most:

  • Single parent families.
  • Latino influences.
  • Ethnic music.
  • Changing gender roles.
  • Multicultural families.
  • Body size and modeling.
  • Multicultural identity.
  • Sports on television.
  •  Street art and graffiti.
  • College football.
  • Homelessness.
  • Anti-meth campaign.
  • Drug use in sports.
  • Communication differences between men and women.

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Critical thinking definition

critical thinking paper outline

Critical thinking, as described by Oxford Languages, is the objective analysis and evaluation of an issue in order to form a judgement.

Active and skillful approach, evaluation, assessment, synthesis, and/or evaluation of information obtained from, or made by, observation, knowledge, reflection, acumen or conversation, as a guide to belief and action, requires the critical thinking process, which is why it's often used in education and academics.

Some even may view it as a backbone of modern thought.

However, it's a skill, and skills must be trained and encouraged to be used at its full potential.

People turn up to various approaches in improving their critical thinking, like:

  • Developing technical and problem-solving skills
  • Engaging in more active listening
  • Actively questioning their assumptions and beliefs
  • Seeking out more diversity of thought
  • Opening up their curiosity in an intellectual way etc.

Is critical thinking useful in writing?

Critical thinking can help in planning your paper and making it more concise, but it's not obvious at first. We carefully pinpointed some the questions you should ask yourself when boosting critical thinking in writing:

  • What information should be included?
  • Which information resources should the author look to?
  • What degree of technical knowledge should the report assume its audience has?
  • What is the most effective way to show information?
  • How should the report be organized?
  • How should it be designed?
  • What tone and level of language difficulty should the document have?

Usage of critical thinking comes down not only to the outline of your paper, it also begs the question: How can we use critical thinking solving problems in our writing's topic?

Let's say, you have a Powerpoint on how critical thinking can reduce poverty in the United States. You'll primarily have to define critical thinking for the viewers, as well as use a lot of critical thinking questions and synonyms to get them to be familiar with your methods and start the thinking process behind it.

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75 Critical Thinking Essay Topics

Critical thinking requires students to think for themselves, question everything, and look at both sides of an issue before coming to a conclusion. In critical thinking essay writing, these same skills are applied to examine a topic more closely. In this type of essay, the writer must not only present their own opinion on the subject but must also back it up with evidence and reasoning.

Critical thinking essays can be challenging to write depending on the topic, course, and length of the assignment. However, there are some tips and tricks that can make the process a little bit easier. Take a look at our detailed guide breaking down the components of an excellent critical thinking essay, and consider using any of our 75 critical thinking essay topics at the end to get started.

Essential Things to Consider When Writing a Critical Thinking Essay

When writing a critical thinking essay, students must look past surface-level information and delve deeper into the subject matter. This requires a lot of research and analysis, which can be tough for some students. However, if you take the time to plan your essay and follow these tips, you should be able to write a great critical thinking essay that will impress your instructor.

1. Do Your Research

Before you can start writing your essay, you need to make sure that you have enough evidence to support your claims. This means doing a lot of research on your topic. Try to find reliable sources from experts in the field that you can use to back up your points. Once you have gathered all of your evidence, you can plan out your essay.

2. Create An Outline

An outline will help keep your thoughts organized and ensure that you don’t forget any vital information. Your outline should include a thesis, an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Each part of your outline should also have a few key details that you want to discuss to help make the writing process go smoothly.

3. Write A Thesis Statement

Your thesis statement is the most essential part of your essay. It should be a clear and concise statement that presents your argument. Your thesis statement should be included in your introduction and reaffirmed in your conclusion.

It is important to note that because this is a critical thinking essay, your thesis should be more than just a statement of fact. Instead, it should be an arguable claim that you will be defending throughout your essay.

For example, if you are writing about the death penalty, your thesis statement needs to be more than, “The death penalty is wrong.” This thesis doesn’t leave room for discussion or debate. A better thesis statement would be, “The death penalty is a violation of human rights and it should be abolished.” This thesis statement presents an argument that can be debated and discussed.

4. Write The Introduction

Your introduction should start with a hook that grabs the reader’s attention. You can use a surprising statistic, a quote, or a rhetorical question. After the hook, you should provide some background information on your topic. This will help orient the reader and give them context for your argument. Finally, you should end your introduction with your thesis statement.

5. Write The Body Paragraphs

Each body paragraph should start with a topic sentence that introduces the paragraph’s main point. The rest of the paragraph should be used to support this point with evidence and reasoning. You should have at least three body paragraphs in your essay, but you can have more if needed.

Pro Tip: Critical thinking essays examine and analyze – they don’t just restate facts. When presenting your evidence, be sure to discuss it critically. What are the implications of this evidence? How does it support your argument?

6. Write The Conclusion

The conclusion of a critical thinking essay should be just as strong as the introduction. You should start by restating your thesis statement. Then, you should provide a brief summary of the main points of your essay. Finally, you should end with a strong closing statement that leaves the reader thinking about your argument long after they finish reading, such as a call to action or a final thought-provoking question.

Citing Sources in a Critical Thinking Essay

Since this type of essay will rely on evidence and reasoning, it is important to use credible sources. Be sure to only use reliable sources from experts in the field. When you do use sources, be sure to cite them properly. This will show that you are using other people’s work ethically, and it will also help strengthen your argument by showing that you have looked at the issue from multiple perspectives.

Citing sources has many different rules that you will need to follow depending on the formatting style that you are using. The most common formatting styles are MLA, APA, and Chicago. Be sure to check with your professor to see which style they prefer before you start writing your essay.

When citing in MLA format, you’ll need to use in-text citations. These are brief citations included in the body of your essay whenever you use a source. The full citation for each source is listed in the Works Cited section at the end of your paper.

When citing in APA format, you’ll need to use in-text citations and a reference list. The in-text citations are brief citations included in the body of your essay whenever you use a source. The reference list is a list of all the sources that you used – usually included at the end of your paper.

When citing in Chicago style, you’ll need to use footnotes or endnotes. These are brief citations at the bottom of each page (footnotes) or the end of your paper (endnotes).

Any of these 75 critical thinking essay topics will help students struggling to find an arguable and interesting topic.

Critical Thinking Essay Topics About Social Issues

  • Is democracy the best form of government?
  • Is capitalism good or bad?
  • Is socialism a viable alternative to capitalism?
  • Does religion do more harm than good?
  • Should creationism be taught in schools?
  • Is the death penalty ethical?
  • Are zoos cruel?
  • Is it ethical to eat meat?
  • Is climate change real?
  • Who is responsible for climate change?
  • Should wealthy nations do more to help developing nations?
  • Is immigration a good or bad thing?
  • What are the root causes of terrorism?
  • Is terrorism ever justified?
  • Are gun laws too strict or not strict enough?
  • Is healthcare a human right?
  • Should abortion be legal?
  • What are the ethical implications of stem cell research?
  • What should be done about the global water crisis?
  • How can we best help refugees?

Critical Thinking Essay Topics About General Issues

  • Should people be judged by their looks?
  • Is it better to be single or in a relationship?
  • Are men and women equal?
  • Should parents be held responsible for their children’s actions?
  • Is it better to grow up with siblings or as an only child?
  • Should the drinking age be lowered?
  • Is drug legalization a good or bad idea?
  • What are the best ways to deal with stress?
  • How can we prevent bullying?
  • Are social media and technology making us more or less connected?
  • Should parents monitor their children’s internet use?
  • Should schools ban cell phones?
  • How can we reduce the number of teenage pregnancies?
  • What is the best way to deal with teenage rebellion?
  • Is homeschooling a good or bad idea?
  • Should all students be required to learn a foreign language?
  • Should schools start later in the morning?
  • Are there better alternatives to traditional schooling?
  • Is college tuition too high?
  • Should student loans be forgiven?
  • Should colleges be free to attend?
  • What are the best ways to prepare for a job interview?
  • How can we better retain employees?
  • What are the best ways to motivate employees?
  • How can we reduce workplace stress?
  • Should remote working be encouraged?
  • What are the pros and cons of globalization?
  • Is consumerism a good or bad thing?
  • How can we reduce our reliance on fossil fuels?

Critical Thinking Essay Topics About The Environment and Conservation

  • What are the best ways to reduce pollution?
  • Should we be doing more to conserve water?
  • How can we reduce food waste?
  • Is nuclear energy a good or bad thing?
  • What are the best ways to deal with climate change?
  • Is overpopulation a real problem?
  • What can we do to reduce our reliance on plastic?
  • Should we be doing more to protect endangered species?
  • How can we best preserve our natural resources?
  • What is the best way to deal with hazardous waste?
  • What are the best ways to reduce deforestation?

Critical Thinking Essay Topics About Technology

  • Should we be doing more to regulate the internet?
  • How can we best protect our privacy online?
  • What are the best ways to deal with cyberbullying?
  • Is social media a good or bad thing?
  • Are we too reliant on technology?
  • What are the best ways to deal with data breaches?
  • Should we be worried about artificial intelligence?
  • What are the best ways to deal with tech monopolies?

Critical Thinking Essay Topics About American Classics

  • Explore the theme of capitalism in Fight Club.
  • What is the significance of the title The Great Gatsby?
  • Is Atticus Finch a good father?
  • What is the significance of the title To Kill a Mockingbird?
  • Is Holden Caulfield a sympathetic character?
  • How does Steinbeck portray the American dream in The Grapes of Wrath?
  • How does Fitzgerald use symbolism in The Great Gatsby?

When writing on any of these 75 critical thinking essay topics, be sure to support your position with solid reasoning, examples, and evidence.

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CRT100 – Argument Essay Outline & Draft OV

Topic: Fast Fashion

Intro (hook, intro to topic, thesis statement):  

The damaging impacts of fast fashion, such as greenwashing, excessive consumerism, and pollution, require the need for a more conscious and responsible fashion industry. Large corporations must be held accountable for their sustainable lies, exploitation of workers, and destruction of the planet. Despite overwhelming evidence of climate change, fast fashion corporations continue to persevere by selling false narratives and exploiting their workers. 

Premise 1: Greenwashing  – 

In fashion, greenwashing is when brands make themselves look eco-friendly to the public eye, but are causing detrimental damage to the planet behind closed doors. Many of these companies are misleading consumers, using packaging that is green or promotes recycled materials, when really, it is either the same if not worse. “Green labeling today … is unexplored territory, so marketers may be stretching the truth unintentionally. We think that the sudden interest in green just caught a lot of people off guard, and marketers were busy slapping buzzwords on packaging”.  

Supporting Evidence:|A705468230&v=2.1&it=r&sid=bookmark-OVIC&asid=5ab1a59b

Premise 2: Exploitation / Working Conditions –

Garment workers are in conditions that can be compared to modern-day slavery. The interviewee in my supporting evidence notes that high-end fashion houses work on a 4-season schedule per year, whereas, fast fashion works on a 52-week schedule. Producing mass amounts of trendy clothing to keep up with consumers is impossible to do in a truly sustainable manner. She also mentions that the institution of fast fashion is inherently violent and dangerous. 

Supporting Evidence: Opposing viewpoints –|A705468230&v=2.1&it=r&sid=bookmark-OVIC&asid=5ab1a59b  

Premise 3: Sustainability – 

Fast fashion is a major contributor to climate change “It contributes more greenhouse gasses than all of maritime shipping and air travel combined”.|EBHFOF191829387&it=r

Premise 4 / Opposing Viewpoint: Price range and accessibility – 

Many people benefitting from fast fashion are in low-income households and neighborhoods. This is due to the price appeal. When clothing is easily accessible online, but also extremely cheap, it makes it that much easier to clothe yourself and your family. Garments that are made responsibly automatically cost more due to the effort that is put into sourcing materials, while still producing them in large quantities. It is important to note that many people are unable to have new clothing that is up to date with the latest trends solely based on the fact that shopping consciously is expensive and almost coveted. 

Supporting Evidence:  

Conclusion: (paraphrase your thesis, and explain why this topic matters)

Fast fashion has become a staple in the modern world, offering consumers trendy and affordable clothing at an astonishing rate. However, beneath the appeal of low cost and endless options lies a multitude of harmful effects that extend far beyond our wardrobes. As we unravel the layers of this issue, it becomes evident that fast fashion is not merely a matter of personal style; it is a global phenomenon that requires serious consideration and action. Large corporations must be held accountable for their impact on the environment, and the welfare of their employees. Despite the overwhelming evidence against these companies, fast fashion houses continue to persevere by selling false narratives, harming the planet, and exploiting their labor force. 

In our busy lives, we are easily swayed by the allure of marketing and packaging when we shop for products. A significant element of this is known as greenwashing, where companies promote eco-friendly branding on tags and bottles to convince the customer that something is “100% clean” or “Organic”. Their goal is to entice the customer to believe that the product is made sustainably and, therefore, is better than what they’ve produced in the past. In Fast fashion, many brands are showcasing their form of greenwashing on tags and in advertising campaigns. In the CQ Researcher article Buying Green by Jennifer Weeks, Terra Choice Vice President Scot Case notes that “This [Greenlabling] is unexplored territory …  So marketers may be stretching the truth unintentionally. We think that the sudden interest in green just caught a lot of people off guard, and marketers were busy slapping buzzwords on packaging”.  Case’s observation highlights greenwashing, which at times blurs the lines between genuine sustainability efforts and misleading tactics. Greenwashing complicates the task of making well-informed decisions when purchasing clothing. 

An additional aspect of fast fashion’s harmful effects can be seen in the labor industry. Garment workers are subjected to poor working conditions, unfair pay, and mistreatment. In the article Taking On Fast Fashion By Taking It Down , Chris Colin interviews fashion activist and critic Hoda Katebi. Katebi compares working conditions at these corporations to a form of modern-day slavery. High-end fashion designers produce a 4-season schedule per year, whereas, fast fashion giants work on a 52-week schedule. At this alarmingly fast rate, companies depend on low-wage workers to produce garments on a mass scale, while ensuring they are making maximum profit. This results in employees being overworked and underpaid. Katebi also notes that “The system requires violence in order to function”.

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Pick an Outstanding Example of Critical Thinking Paper and Learn from It to Craft Your Own Piece

Critical thinking can be referred to as a complex system of one's judgments. It helps us to analyze information and develop a valid conclusion, assess the events that are happening, and interpret them. A person with good skills of critical thinking finds it easier to withstand manipulations, stays immune to stigmas and stereotypes, as well as to public opinion.

As an academic discipline, critical thinking is based upon the rules of logic, rhetoric, theory and practice of argumentation. The aim of critical thinking essays is to improve students' analytical skills. In order to craft a worthy essay of this type, a student will need to read through the texts carefully, apply methodical doubt, try to find weak sides in his/her own and other's arguments, and express their thoughts in a clear and reasonable way. As you can see, all these requirements sound rather challenging, but there's one sure way to make the whole process less of a hurdle.

Reading through similar works is an effective approach to pick up valuable writing techniques and understand the writing principles of various essay types. In our open online directory, we've gathered hundreds of free top-quality critical thinking essays examples that you can use as a perfect model while preparing your own piece. Each critical thinking paper sample in our selection is written by an experienced writer and is available for free.

While learning by good examples of critical thinking essays can supply you with the valuable writing experience, we understand that sometimes being short on time and inspiration, you may rather have your work crafted by a competent writer. Remember that out versed writers are always here to aid you; for a nominal reward, they can create a 100% original, convincing, and smart critical thinking essay upon your request.

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  2. How to Write a Critical Thinking Essay With Tips and Examples

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    As every piece of academic writing, critical thinking essay format consists of an introduction, several body paragraphs, and conclusion. Choose a central problem or argument. At college you may be asked to critically analyze essays, articles, controversial opinions, literature, etc. If you will have a chance to pick a topic by yourself, make ...

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    A thesis or purpose statement should come at the end of your introduction and state clearly and concisely what the purpose or central argument of your paper is. The introduction prepares your reader for this statement, and the rest of the paper follows in support of it. Sample Thesis Statement: Because of their income deficit (Smith, 2010) and general susceptibility to depression (Jones, 2011 ...

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    Here is how a critical essay introduction is written. First, you need to introduce your topic and let the readers know about what the essay is about while writing the essay introduction. Secondly, state the author's main point of the work that you are going to evaluate. Then state your evaluation of the work.

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    Also, you should be sure about your sources. Wikipedia is not the best one in this case. The sources for your research can be absolutely different such as journals, articles, books, news, and even encyclopedias. Do not forget to use critical thinking. The tip for successful research is to get as much information for your critical analysis essay ...

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    3. Write A Thesis Statement. Your thesis statement is the most essential part of your essay. It should be a clear and concise statement that presents your argument. Your thesis statement should be included in your introduction and reaffirmed in your conclusion. It is important to note that because this is a critical thinking essay, your thesis ...

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