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academic essay writing resource.pdf

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Exercise: Critical thinking 1

Critical thinking
Students often have trouble
understanding what we
mean by “critical thinking”.
It is worthwhile spending
some time exploring ideas
around critical thinking, and
the difference between
description and analysis or
critical thinking. We have
found the following
exercises to be very helpful.

1. Show your students a standard
bottle of water – or show the picture
of a bottle of water, and ask them to
describe this.
When describing they should just tell
you what they see –

it is a clear plastic bottle
the label says it is ‘spring’ water
it has a white cap

2. Ask your students to think critically
about this bottle of water. You
might need to ask them the question
“So what? This is a bottle of water,
what else do we know about bottled
The students should be able to come
up with things that might include:

It costs $4 for a bottle of
water this size from the
Plastic bottles like this are a
problem in landfill
At home we drink bottled
water because our tap water
tastes bad
Bottled water isn’t any
better than the water that
comes from our taps
We don’t take bottled water
when we go country because
then we drink from the