How would you explain the relationship between clear writing and critical thinking? Can you think of times when your ability to think critically was influenced by the writing?
Several connections exist between critical thinking and writing, including content selection, information presentation, editing, reader assessment and stimulating additional thought and works. [ Often, writers and readers are not consciously aware of these links. People can be taught what these connections are, and may practice thinking critically as they work with writing. Experts agree that
thinking critically while writing or reading typically does not come naturally and thus is somewhat of an acquired skill.
The first way critical thinking and writing connect is through content selection. When a person has to write something, he has to gather data, either from memory or through additional research. He must decide during this process what information is relevant to the writing topic, using specific criteria to rationalize about what to include.
Even when a person knows content is relevant, he must decide how to present the information. This involves thinking about what would be most logical and clear. It also goes well beyond basic rules of syntax, grammar and organization, however, taking into consideration a plethora of cultural constructs that might make a person's ideas or words come across differently than intended. Writers have to be aware of how they spin their works and what words they select. The fact that the "best" way to present information is subjective is what lets one writer be distinct from another, with different literary "voices" essentially being evidence of different paths of critical thinking and writing. ]
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