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English Detective #105 Critical Thinking Skills to Navigate the News
May 08, 2018

#105 Critical Thinking Skills to Navigate the News

With half-truths and accusations of ‘fake news’ increasing, students and voters need critical thinking skills more than ever to make informed choices.

If you’re studying English, it’s also important to understand the vocabulary that describes thought and persuasion, propaganda and outright lies. The articles below will talk about all of these. Then you can practice them with a crossword puzzle and a vocabulary page on EnglishHints.

I found several thought-provoking articles on critical thinking, propaganda, and recognizing logical fallacies.

The first is a fairly short article for students on using critical thinking in daily life. It’s a good introduction to the subject if you just have time to read one article.

Newsela has an excellent explanation of propaganda and especially how it was used in the First and Second World Wars. The illustrations help make the author’s points clear and hard to forget. Like all Newsela articles, you can choose an easier (or harder) reading level if you want. There’s a quiz and writing exercise available as well.

I also wanted to mention an article on strategies for teaching critical thinking skills, and a lengthy but fascinating account of different logical fallacies. Logical fallacies are weak arguments that cannot justify the conclusions they are supposed to support. The article explains common types and how to avoid them in your own writing and recognize them in the arguments of others.


Critical Thinking Vocabulary Practice

Try a Critical Thinking Crossword. (Its answers are here.)

For related vocabulary practice, see “Words for Truth, Falsehood, and Error” on EnglishHints.

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