1. How does critical thinking affect you as a reader and writer? How can thinking critically improve your writing? Critical thinking affects a person as a reader and writer in that it is essential to be able to absorb and assimilate knowledge from the environment as well as organize one’s own thoughts and express oneself in a clear and comprehensive manner. It is important to consider critical thinking as being a twofold process.
As a reader, one is able to utilize critical thinking as a tool to analyze information being taken in from the outside. Not all information is useful or truthful to a person, and critical thinking is a method of filtering out what is incomprehensible or untruthful and absorbing what is meaningful and valid. As a writer, critical thinking is used in relation to one’s own personal creative thoughts, coming to subjective conclusions about what one believes about the world and expressing these beliefs through writing.
Critical thinking is able to improve people’s writing in that the ideas one wants to express become central to the writing process, to develop the perfect way of stating what one desires to say. It is essential to utilize critical thinking in both reading and writing, so that one is able to take in and organize the information from the external environment and make personal judgments and assertions about what one believes. All situations and experiences are both objective and subjective, in that people experience events within the context of the external world.
It is important to be able to digest and process information from the external world in an organized fashion, so that one is able to accurately describe and share one’s experiences with others. 2. Read the following Discussion Question response written by Owen, a fictional student. Identify areas of vagueness and ambiguity and discuss how you might clarify the e-mail message using the writing principles addressed in the text. In the response written by Owen, the writing style is such that the reader is not able to clearly understand what is being said.
There are instances of vagueness and ambiguity in the writing, and Owen is left appearing as if he does not truly understand what he is supposed to be writing about. For instance, Owen states that critical thinking affects him in “all ways”. Although this may be true, there is not enough information describing in which ways he is affected. It is important to include enough detail in writing, so that the reader is able to fully comprehend what is being claimed. Owen goes on to say that clear writing is the “hardest thing in the world”.
Although Owen may be having difficulty with his own writing, clear writing is not the hardest thing in the world for all people. Instead of generalizing and making blanket statements, Owen should be plain and honest in saying that clear writing is difficult for him personally. Further on, Owen claims that critical writing is like business writing in that they both need a certain amount of structure, yet then claims that “structure is harder”. These ideas are simply uncorrelated and do not logically proceed from one another.
One cannot compare two styles of writing as being similar and then immediately state that they are dissimilar, at least not without a clear explanation and transition. Overall, Owen could improve his own writing style by paying attention to explaining himself in detail, by taking the necessary time to organize his own thoughts before writing them down. It is vital to express oneself in a clear and comprehensive manner, so that other people are able to easily understand what is being conveyed.