The main goal of Critical Writing is to provide students with a set of robust, integrated critical concepts and processes that will allow to them think through and write about a topic in a way that is built on—and permeated by—substantive critical thinking.
This step-by-step guide shows:
Each step provides close and careful processes for carrying out each of these tasks, through the use of critical thinking.
Gerald Nosich is a noted authority on critical thinking across disciplines and has given more than 250 workshops on all aspects of teaching critical thinking. He is professor emeritus at both SUNY Buffalo State in New York and at the University of New Orleans. Nosich is the author of numerous books, articles, and audio and videotapes on critical thinking. He is a senior fellow of the Center and the Foundation for Critical Thinking.
To the Instructor
A Framework for Critical Writing
Main Features of the Book
To the Student: Before You Begin
Test It Out
A Few Things to Keep in Mind as You Work Through This Book
CHAPTER 1 Thinking about Writing
Writing and Critical Writing
The Components of a Paper
Getting Familiar with the Components of a Paper: Extended Examples
Reflecting on the Process of Critical Writing
Adapting Critical Writing to Your Own Individuality
The Tasks That Lie Ahead
Writing for Clarity: SEE-I
Chapter 1: Practice and Self-Assessment Exercises
CHAPTER 2 Beginning the Paper: The Elements of Reasoning
Introducing the Elements of Reasoning
The Elements of Reasoning
Getting a “Feel” for the Elements: Using the Elements to Understand a Topic
Thinking Your Way through a Topic: Analyzing around-the-Circle
Examples in Practice
The Usefulness of the Elements of Reasoning
So What Is Critical Thinking?
Chapter 2: Practice and Self-Assessment Exercises
Self-Assessment: Test It Out #1
CHAPTER 3 Constructing the Paper: Planning, Researching, Writing
Constructing the Paper Out of the Analysis: Thesis, Main Points, Structure, Outline
Enhanced SEE-I: Developing Your Paper
Researching the Paper
Two Roles of Research in Planning and Writing a Paper
Doing Background Research
Doing Focused Research
Research and Critical Thinking
Writing and Pre-writing
Writing Better and Saving Time
Where Are You in the Process?
Chapter 3: Practice and Assessment Exercises
Self-Assessment: Test It Out #2
CHAPTER 4 Other Minds, Other Views: Addressing “the Other Side” and Cultivating Critical Thinking Traits of Mind
“The Other Side”
Critical Thinking Traits of Mind
The Traits and “the Other Side” of an Issue
Three Problems in Thinking about “the Other Side”
Seeing “the Other Side”
Describing “the Other Side” Fairmindedly
Incorporating “the Other Side” into Your Paper
The Order of the Writing Process
Chapter 4: Practice and Assessment Exercises
Self-Assessment: Test It Out #3
CHAPTER 5 Making the Paper Better: Critical Thinking Standards and Socratic Questioning
Revising the Paper: Making It Better
The Standards of Critical Thinking
How the Standards Help
Using the Standards Implicitly
Interventions: Enriching Your Paper with Socratic Questioning
Making Socratic Questioning Interventions
Socratic Interventions in Practice: Extended Examples
Writing Longer Papers
Chapter 5: Practice and Assessment Exercises
CHAPTER 6 Making It Flow, Making It Complete: Content, Audience, Communication, and Criticality
Fundamental and Powerful Concepts
Making It Flow: Grammatical Issues
How Grammar Works in Writing
Impediments to Writing Grammatically
Making It Complete
Taking It Seriously
The Larger Vision and Looking Ahead
Chapter 6: Practice and Assessment Exercises
Responses to Starred Practice and Assessment Exercises
With Critical Writing, Gerald Nosich has filled a gaping hole in the current pedagogical literature about helping students think more critically and then use that thinking to write effectively across disciplines. Many books about this topic provide a prescriptive formula for critical thinking, but most texts do not offer students a way to adapt their thinking processes to their own purposes and individuality. That Nosich provides guidance to both instructors and students with plenty of examples and exercises combined with added emphasis on the crucial role self-reflection plays in all writing sets this text above others in the field.
Though good thinking and good writing are intimately connected, textbooks often neglect this important link, focusing either on writing techniques or on critical thinking theories and strategies. Nosich’s text fills a gap in the market by offering students and teachers a practical guide for embedding critical thinking into the writing process. Drawing on both his deep knowledge of critical thinking and his decades of experience as a classroom instructor, Nosich offers readers a robust and substantive discussion of critical writing, the act of applying critical thinking concepts, traits, and strategies to research and writing. This text would be a valuable addition to any class focused on cultivating skills in writing, critical thinking, or research methods.
Nosich’s approach to using the Paul-Elder framework for Critical Thinking is practical and user-friendly, employing a clear and comprehensive set of tools for strong writing based on sound critical thinking. This well-designed and highly readable guidebook is an outstanding resource for anyone who wants to write well, in any non-fiction genre.
I highly recommend this book to all faculty who want their students to learn how to write papers of quality focused on issues of importance. This book stands above traditional approaches to writing in that it emphasizes the importance of reasoning in understanding and exploring issues at the heart of a written paper, and it details the explicit tools of critical thinking relevant to high quality writing. The critical thinking approach so clearly and expertly detailed by Dr. Nosich in this book—in readily accessible language—should be required in all writing courses.
This volume appeals to faculty, students, and others, who appreciate a structured and accessible approach to improving their writing. I especially like Dr. Nosich's unpretentious, conversational tone that keeps readers engaged, and provides practical solutions to the writing challenges they face.
As an English professor who has endeavored to teach composition permeated with systematic, critical thinking for many years, this newest book by Gerald Nosich, Critical Writing: A Guide to Writing a Paper Using the Concepts and Processes of Critical Thinking, has once again supplied me with powerful and practical strategies for teaching. I first met Dr. Nosich at a seminar by The Foundation of Critical Thinking where I was at once captivated by his amazing teaching presentation and sound ideas for the classroom, especially in the area of writing critically with original content. Every time I attend these conferences, I seek out Dr. Nosich’s presentations and never fail to be inspired; I always return to my students with more effectiveness in helping them to produce higher-level academic writing. I am preparing my next Composition 1 course with this new book in hand.