Essay Success: Critical thinking for better essay grades | Shellie Cleaver | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

Essay Success: Critical thinking for better essay grades

teacher avatar Shellie Cleaver, Visual art + academic writing classes

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

12 Lessons (16m)
    • 1. Critical Thinking

    • 2. 6 Ways to Critically Analyse

    • 3. Analyse Methodology

    • 4. Analyse Applicability

    • 5. Analyse Exceptions

    • 6. Analyse Cultural Adaptability

    • 7. Analyse Currency

    • 8. Analyse Relevance

    • 9. Flawed Arguments

    • 10. Thanks Thinking Critically

    • 11. More Classes on Essay Writing

    • 12. Academic Teacher Introduction Shellie Cleaver

  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

All students want essay success. This short class on critical thinking gives tips on how to get better essay marks by demonstrating critical thinking and analysis in university essays.

Critical thinking is an essential skill to succeed with academic and essay writing. 

It is an ability to think objectively about ideas and information and to independently assess its validity and usefulness, whilst identifying gaps and flaws.

This high level of thinking is a feature of essays achieving distinctions or higher at university for the essays you write. 

This class takes you through different ways to integrate critical thinking into your essay, and includes prompt questions to get you started.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Shellie Cleaver

Visual art + academic writing classes


Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • 0%
  • Yes
  • 0%
  • Somewhat
  • 0%
  • Not really
  • 0%
Reviews Archive

In October 2018, we updated our review system to improve the way we collect feedback. Below are the reviews written before that update.

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.


1. Critical Thinking: critical thinking is a skill central to academic success. It is something that your markers are looking for when they assess your essays, and it is a skill that it is essential to learn if you're going to do well. But it doesn't necessarily come easy to people. And so today we're going to look at what critical analysis and critical thinking is and different ways of integrating that into your essay writing. So there are six different approaches that you can take. Teoh critical thinking the first is to agree with the point of view and to support that with evidence. The second is to reject a point of view and support that with evidence. The third is to agree with some aspects and to discuss the points that need either further research. All the aspects that you are not convinced by the fourth is to discuss two opposing views and to talk about what is different between them. The fifth is to use two views to create a new view, so discussing the two different views and pulling parts from them to build a new perspective and the third is to connect different ideas to actually build a new perspective 2. 6 Ways to Critically Analyse: There are six aspects of a theory or an idea that you can critically analyze and being aware of this will help you in building them into your essay. So the first is methodology. The second is applicable ity. The third is except exceptions to the rule. The fourth is cultural adaptability. The fifth is currency and validity and the sixth is relevance. We're going to explore each of these in detail now. 3. Analyse Methodology: methodology is the very work supporting research in academic circles, so it involves the way that research is conducted. The research methods used the's all of the critical specific circumstances that informed that research and either make a credible or not credible and analyzing methodology is one way Teoh include critical analysis into essays. It shows your marker that you are thinking about the, um, how the information that you're reading has been generated. You're not taking for granted as being sound. You're actually looking at the methodology, thinking about it and making a decision for yourself as to whether it mates, um, academic standards and whether it's convincing as a piece of article sorry, a piece of evidence to support an I. D or a point of view when analysing methodology. There are some questions you that you may consider to pump your thinking. What is how were the conclusions reached? So you're reading through ah, research paper and your taking note off all of the introduction and the methodology, the research, all of the discussion, and then the conclusion and you're seeing whether they all correlate. Whether it makes sense to you, you may consider, are the ideas based on data. And is that darter reliable? So you're looking at where they drew their daughter from, and whether you believe it is academically sound, you can look at their methods and their samples. Um, have they used, proved and accepted methodology in researching in taking their samples for their research? How how has their approach to these aspects impacted the results and therefore, how credible you consider it to bay? And then you can also investigate whether there are ideas that have been tested by others with similar methodology, and does this help to affirm the results from the study you're looking at? 4. Analyse Applicability: in critical thinking when looking at applique ability of a theory or an idea you're looking at, how useful it is and you're looking at. Add its application across various industries. Perhaps, you know, you're looking at how many circumstances under which this theory can be used, and this helps to give you a point of discussion about the theory questions that may prompt you when considering the applicability off. A theory or idea is how can this point of view or theory be used, has it being used by others and explore that use and use it as a base for the discussion. You can also do some research to determine whether there in our any arguments against this point of view or this theory, and that will give you some insight into how the industry has viewed it and whether they accept it or whether there's some problems with it. This is all very good information for you to integrate into your essay to demonstrate critical thinking and analysis. 5. Analyse Exceptions: you're looking to critically analyze a theory or an idea. One way to approach it is to consider other any exceptions to this. So the theory may state that this isn't applicable in this certain context, and exploring this gives you a chance to analyze it and be critical about its validity and its use and to explore it. From that point of view. Some questions that may help to prompt you in this aspect of critical analysis is, does this theory have any exceptions to the rule? And if so, why in which context are these exceptions and why? And what changes to the theory would allow it to be adaptable to these contexts? This really is an opportunity for you to still deep into the theory or the point of view, and to really pull it apart and understand it at a base level. And by doing this sort of critical analysis, you're showing a depth of knowledge which your market will reward 6. Analyse Cultural Adaptability: another angle to approach critical analysis of a viewpoint or a theory is to examine how culturally applicable it is. So perhaps it's tied to a specific society or a specific nature of specific industry and to investigate this will reveal things about the theory and whether it is applicable broadly across different cultures or whether it really only has used in a very specific context. Here's some questions to prompt you. Does the theory work when applied to other cultures or societies? Does the theory only work in a specific context? And if so, why is the culture so central to the theory? Actually working? By examining these questions, you might gain new insight into the theory and be able to present original thinking on the topic you're writing about. 7. Analyse Currency: the time frame in which UM on article or resource is created does bear influence on its usefulness to a researcher. So this is an important consideration. Few. If you're examining a theory or a viewpoint, you need to look at the context off when it was created. And this will give you information about the influences that may have affected that, um, creation off the viewpoint or theory, and it will give you the bearings that you need to critically analyze it. From today's perspective, is the theory embedded in a specific time frame and if so, why does this theory have any relevance now? And has it been updated since its first publication? By investigating these questions, you will gain a better understanding off its relevance to today and the context within which it was created. And you can use this to be critical in your analysis of the theory and in its relationship to the issues that you are exploring 8. Analyse Relevance: consideration off the relevance of a theory or a point of view is essential in critical thinking. By assessing its relevance, you are questioning and investigating whether the theory or point of view is worth pursuing , whether it is off interest to your topic area and whether it is actually in line with what it is you are writing about. There's no point, including analysis off a theory which is not relevant to what you are studying. So if, for example, you've been told to examine a particular theory, it's likely that it is relevant. But keep in mind that it may not be, and that may be a point of critical analysis and discussion in your essay to prove why this is no longer relevant. Sometimes relevance also relates to changes cultural and societal changes. So what was relevant in the 19 twenties is likely to not be relevant today because our thinking has changed. Our values have changed. Technology work. Everything around us has changed. So relevance is a Kate issue to investigate for critical analysis. Does the theory make sense to you? If not, counter arguments may change your mind, so this means keep an open mind until you have investigated and researched. Does the theory have relevance to you and your experiences, and how does the theory relate to your topic? 9. Flawed Arguments: It's really easy, generally in life, to accept what an expert say says is correct. But your job as a student who is doing some research and writing an essay is to be critical in your thinking. This means that simply being an expert is not proof enough for you, and what you need to do is actually read the theory and look for flaws in the argument. Because if you can identify a floor in an argument and actually back it up with evidence, this is high end critical thinking and is what the top students do. So this will be an interesting approach to critical analysis and thinking for your essays. Therefore, common argument floors To look out for the first is incorrect assumptions about a connection between two things that have found together. So someone has done some research, and they have found A and B together. They may make assumptions that they're actually related in that there's a connection, and this is not always the case, so keep an eye out for that. The second is false correlations where a reliable relationship between two things is incorrectly presumed. These sort of connections must be proven. The third is to look for gaps in arguments on gaps where they ought to be supporting evidence and to consider whether all relevant aspects have been considered. Can you think of some other aspect of the topic that they have failed to address, and finally, false analogies where things are compared that are not similar enough to bake compared, This is a gap and a floor in an argument that you can address when you're critically analysing a theory or a point of view. 10. Thanks Thinking Critically: thanks for joining me on this class on critical thinking. I hope it's really helped you gain insight into how to integrate critical thinking into your essay writing. If you've enjoyed this class or found it useful, please like it or leave a review. And I look forward to seeing you in the next class all the best. 11. More Classes on Essay Writing: I've recorded many classes on academic essay writing, so follow me on school share and you'll see all of the classes I've done. Here is the follow button. Click on this, and if you hover your mouse over this part here, it'll take you through to my profile as well. Under my profile, you'll see all of the classes I've created, and you'll be able to see the range of classes you could take on academic writing. He's a sample of some of the cake classes I've made s a success. Answer the question. Academic writing Basics. Ace essay introductions Boot camp. Start your essay today. Distinction essays, Secrets to success and s a success. Critical thinking. As you can see, there's a large range of classes you could take with me to improve your academic writing. I look forward to seeing you in these classes and to hearing your feedback on how your essay writing and your university marks have improved. So let's keep learning and improving and let's get started now 12. Academic Teacher Introduction Shellie Cleaver: academia is an entire world on its own. And unless you've come from an academic family, you're likely not to have any idea even exists. Before 2013 I had no idea what academia waas. I studied a finance degree. I was working Rito and I was ready to do something more skilled and more meaningful. So I undertook a masters at Melbourne University, and this two year degree was very, very academic, So I had to learn how to write excites from scratch. I'll never forget the experience of trying to write my first master's s A. I had five different guides in front of me, and I was literally pouring through them, trying to understand. What should a body Vanessa be? How do you conclude the essay? I had no idea, and I achieved a credit or possibly my first say, and from then my lob steadily improved. I'm now completing my second masters degree, where he academic library and I'm going to be a librarian. So I wanted to share my knowledge off academia and essay writing with you guys just to help make your journey