Critical thinking involves the process of mentally analyzing, reflecting, observing, evaluating, examining, using reasoning skills, mentally taking apart and dissimilating information. It is a mental process that can be used in problem solving by knowing what you want the outcome to be and evaluating what steps you need to take to arrive at that outcome and in what order you need to take those steps. Critical thinking involves serious thought process and often requires time to really follow through in using the critical thinking in obtaining accurate results from the process.
To ensure that you are studying credible information, there are many things you can do when browsing the various information sources and research topics in the library. Some of the things you can do is obtain your information from credible physical sources such as encyclopedias, dictionaries, newspapers and research books. When using online databases, you can select “peer-reviewed,” “scholarly,” or “refereed” before beginning your search for information sources in the various databases.
Your results will be more credible results since these information sources were written by professionals in those particular areas and deemed credible by their peers in that area. You can use Google, however, you can use Google>Advanced Search (option to the right of regular Google) and you can enter the domains . edu and/or . gov in the domain search box to do subject searches in these two credible domains rather than the less credible domains like . com and . org.
Some of the more credible sources one would find located in the reference collection of the library, the books that can be read or copied but not circulated outside of the library. In the material itself you can check to see if it has an author’s name, see if the author cited credible information sources in writing the article, and if the material is still relevant or if it is dated material. Another thing to check is if this author has written other articles on this subject or if any articles written by others has cited his/her work in them.
Information that you can locate on a web page includes the name(s) of the person(s) who created the web page, the web page address or Uniform Resource Locator (URL), the date the web page was created and/or the date the web page was last updated, what type of domain does the web page come from, contact information, what if any purpose the web page has, whether the page has a commercial Internet Service Provider (ISP) or uses another provider.
References Chris, V. & Thomas Tinney. (2007). Professional Library Sources. Retrieved April 8, 2007, from Current Library News & Library Information site: http://www. academic- geneology. com/professional Librarysources. htm “Critical Thinking. ” (2007, April 4). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved April 8, 2007, from http://en. wikipedia. org/w/index. php? title=Critical_thinking&oldid=120149553 http://en.
wikipedia. org/wiki/Critical_thinking (2004). Finding Credible Information Online. Retrieved April 9, 2007, from Performance Learning Systems Web site: http://www. plsweb. com/resources (2006,December 12). Finding Information on the Internet: A tutorial. Retrieved April 9, 2007, from Evaluating Web Pages: Techniques to Apply & Questions to Ask Web site: http://www. berkeley. edu/TeachingLib/Guides/Internet/Evaluate.
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