Students in higher education need to be critical thinkers. These resources will help you gain a deeper understanding of what critical thinking is and when to use it. You will learn how to organize your thoughts, ask constructive questions and develop the strong problem-solving skills needed to complete academic work at the University of Toronto.
Strategies for online discussions
Keep your mind active by asking questions of your professor, TA, other students or even yourself.
Review the Reading Effectively (PDF) handout for examples of helpful questions to ask.
Review the discussion instructions. Are you being asked to pose a question, critically comment on one of the readings and/or write a reflection? For critical discussions, start by asking one or two of the following key questions about the text:
- What is the central claim or thesis?
- What is the supporting evidence?
- Why is this claim significant in the context of your course/discipline?
- Are there any gaps, shortcomings or limitations to the argument?
- Is there a counter-argument that can be made?
- How does this text relate to something else you learned in this course?
Review suggestions for writing responses and reflections on the Write Effectively page.
- Writer’s Block (PDF)
Learn more about critical thinking
Discover the five intellectual tools that critical thinkers use when considering what to believe or how to behave when faced with a challenging situation. Produced in partnership with The Critical Thinking Consortium. Use your UTORid and password to login and download the 5 Critical Thinking learning modules.
- Introducing Critical Thinking
- Introducing the Five Intellectual Tools for Critical Thinking
- Evaluating Sources Using the Five Intellectual Tools for Critical Thinking
- Developing Research Questions Using the Five Intellectual Tools for Critical Thinking
- Integrating Sources Using the Five Intellectual Tools for Critical Thinking
Academic Success WorkshopsWe run multiple workshops and themed discussions every week to support you and all aspects of your academic success. Learn more about Academic Success Workshops
Learning How to LearnIf you want to develop yourself as a learner to meet new expectations and improve your performance, attend Learning How to Learn, a three-part workshop series to help you connect to success. Learn more about Learning How to Learn
Learning Well in First YearA 4-part weekly series to help you learn more effectively in your first year at U of T. Learn more about Learning Well in First Year
Learning Well in Second YearA 4-week learning program to help you get back on track in your second year Learn more about Learning Well in Second Year