Description

Provide introductory and background information to contextualise problem / topic

  • What
    • is this about?
    • is the context, or situation?
    • is the main point, problem, or topic to be explored?
  • Where
    • does it take place?
  • Who
    • is this by?
    • is involved?
    • is affected?
    • might be interested?

Analysis

Explore the relationship of parts to the whole

  • When
    • does this occur?
  • How
    • did this occur?
    • does it work – in theory, practice, or context?
    • does one factor affect another?
    • do the parts fit into the whole?
  • Why
    • did this occur?
    • was that done?
    • this argument, solution, suggestion, or theory?
    • not something else?

Consider possible situations, responses and alternatives

  • What If
    • this were wrong?
    • there are alternatives (what are they)?
    • there were a problem?
    • this or that factor were added, removed, or altered?

Evaluation

Appraise implications, solutions, conclusions and recommendations

  • So What?
    • What does this mean?
    • Why is it significant?
    • Is this convincing (why, or why not)?
    • What are the implications?
    • Is it successful?
    • How does it meet the criteria?
  • What Next?
    • is it transferable?
    • how and where else can it be applied?
    • what can be learnt from it?
    • what needs doing now?

 

Based on Learning Development, University of Plymouth, 2006 (http://www.learnhigher.ac.uk/learning-at-university/critical-thinking-and-reflection)