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Roy Van den Brink-Budgen

Critical Thinking for Students

Critical Thinking is an important skill, and it is now a subject which is more and more being taught in its own right. Critical Thinking for Students: Learn the Skills of Critical Assessment and Effective Argument by Roy van den Brink-Budgen is aimed at those who are starting to learn the subject of critical thinking. The book analyses the structure of arguments, looking at whar is and what isn't an argument, and, if there are several reasons supporting an argument, looks at whether they do so independently or whether they form a chain of reasoning.

In the second half the book moves on to assessing the strength of arguments, indentifying weaknesses such as ad hominem arguments as well as seeing how an argument can be strengthened. There is a chapter on assessing the credibility of evidence, and the book finished with a longer example of an argument to be analysed.

This is a short book, and I feel that it is possibly too short for those who want to develop their critical thinking skills. I would have liked to have seen more in the way of examples that those reading the book could relate to - for instance taking a typical essay on a topic and seeing how the arguments in it could be improved. But the book does have suggestions for further reading, and if you want a quick introduction to critical thinking then this book might suit you.