How to Write a Critical Thinking Essay: Examples & Outline

Critical thinking is the process of evaluating and analyzing information. People who use it in everyday life are open to different opinions. They rely on reason and logic when making conclusions about certain issues.

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A critical thinking essay shows how your thoughts change as you research your topic. This type of assignment encourages you to learn rather than prove what you already know. In this article, our custom writing team will:

  • explain how to write an excellent critical essay;
  • introduce 30 great essay topics;
  • provide a critical thinking essay example in MLA format.
  • 🤔 Critical Thinking Essay Definition
  • 💡 Topics & Questions
  • ✅ Step-by-Step Guide
  • 📑 Essay Example & Formatting Tips
  • ✍️ Bonus Tips

🔍 References

🤔 what is a critical thinking essay.

A critical thinking essay is a paper that analyses an issue and reflects on it in order to develop an action plan. Unlike other essay types, it starts with a question instead of a thesis. It helps you develop a broader perspective on a specific issue. Critical writing aims at improving your analytical skills and encourages asking questions.

The picture shows the functions of critical thinking in writing.

Critical Thinking in Writing: Importance

When we talk about critical thinking and writing, the word “critical” doesn’t have any negative connotation. It simply implies thorough investigation, evaluation, and analysis of information. Critical thinking allows students to make objective conclusions and present their ideas logically. It also helps them avoid errors in reasoning.

The Basics: 8 Steps of Critical Thinking Psychology

Did you know that the critical thinking process consists of 8 steps? We’ve listed them below. You can try to implement them in your everyday life:

It’s possible that fallacies will occur during the process of critical thinking. Fallacies are errors in reasoning that fail to provide a reasonable conclusion. Here are some common types of fallacies:

If you want to avoid these mistakes, do the following:

How to Demonstrate Your Critical Thinking in Writing

Critical thinking encourages you to go beyond what you know and study new perspectives. When it comes to demonstrating your critical thinking skills in writing, you can try these strategies:

According to Purdue University, logical essay writing is essential when you deal with academic essays. It helps you demonstrate and prove the arguments. Make sure that your paper reaches a logical conclusion.

There are several main concepts related to logic:

If you want your essay to be logical, it’s better to avoid syllogistic fallacies, which happen with certain invalid deductions. If syllogisms are used carelessly, they can lead to false statements and ruin the credibility of your paper.

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💡 Critical Thinking Topics & Questions

An excellent critical thinking essay starts with a question. But how do you formulate it properly? Keep reading to find out.

How to Write Critical Thinking Questions: Examples with Answers

Asking the right questions is at the core of critical thinking. They challenge our beliefs and encourage our interest to learn more.

Here are some examples of model questions that prompt critical thinking:

Now, let’s look at some critical thinking questions with the answers. You can use these as a model for your own questions:

Question: What would happen if people with higher income paid more taxes?

Question: How does eating healthy benefit you?

Critical Thinking Essay Topics

Have you already decided what your essay will be about? If not, feel free to use these essay topic examples as titles for your paper or as inspiration. Make sure to choose a theme that interests you personally:

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Haven’t found a suitable essay idea? Try using our topic generator !

✅ How to Write a Critical Thinking Essay Step by Step

Now, let’s focus on planning and writing your critical thinking essay. In this section, you will find an essay outline, examples of thesis statements, and a brief overview of each essay part.

Critical Thinking Essay Outline

In a critical thinking essay, there are two main things to consider: a premise and a conclusion :

When it comes to structuring, a critical thinking essay is very similar to any other type of essay. Before you start writing it, make sure you know what to include in it. An outline is very helpful when it comes to structuring a paper.

The picture enumerates the main parts of a critical essay outline: introduction, main body, conclusion.

How to Start a Critical Essay Introduction

An introduction gives readers a general idea of an essay’s contents. When you work on the introduction, imagine that you are drawing a map for the reader. It not only marks the final destination but also explains the route.

An introduction usually has 4 functions:

Here are some strategies that can make the introduction writing easier:

Critical Analysis Thesis Statement & Examples

A thesis statement is an integral part of every essay. It keeps the paper organized and guides both the reader and the writer. A good thesis:

To have a clearer understanding of what a good thesis is, let’s have a look at these examples.

The statement on the left is too general and doesn’t provide any reasoning. The one on the right narrows down the group of people to office workers and specifies the benefits of exercising.

Critical Thinking Essay Body Paragraphs: How to Write

Body paragraphs are the part of the essay where you discuss all the ideas and arguments. In a critical thinking essay, arguments are especially important. When you develop them, make sure that they:

Using counter-arguments is also effective. It shows that you acknowledge different points of view and are not easily persuaded.

In addition to your arguments, it’s essential to present the evidence . Demonstrate your critical thinking skills by analyzing each source and stating whether the author’s position is valid.

To make your essay logically flow, you may use transitions such as:

How to Write a Critical Thinking Conclusion

In a critical thinking essay, the notion of “conclusion” is tightly connected to the one used in logic. A logical conclusion is a statement that specifies the author’s point of view or what the essay argues about. Each argument can have only one logical conclusion.

Sometimes they can be confused with premises. Remember that premises serve as a support for the conclusion. Unlike the conclusion, there can be several premises in a single argument. You can learn more about these concepts from the article on a logical consequence by Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Keeping this in mind, have a look at these tips for finishing your essay:

📑 Critical Thinking Essays Examples & Formatting Tips

Formatting is another crucial aspect of every formal paper. MLA and APA are two popular formats when it comes to academic writing. They share some similarities but overall are still two different styles. Here are critical essay format guidelines that you can use as a reference:

Finally, you’re welcome to check out a full critical essay sample in MLA format. Download the PDF file below:

Currently, the importance of critical thinking has grown rapidly because technological progress has led to expanded access to various content-making platforms: websites, online news agencies, and podcasts with, often, low-quality information. Fake news is used to achieve political and financial aims, targeting people with low news literacy. However, individuals can stop spreading fallacies by detecting false agendas with the help of a skeptical attitude.

✍️ Bonus Tips: Critical Thinking and Writing Exercises

Critical thinking is a process different from our regular thinking. When we think in everyday life, we do it automatically. However, when we’re thinking critically, we do it deliberately.

So how do we get better at this type of thinking and make it a habit? These useful tips will help you do it:

Another way to improve your reasoning skills is to do critical thinking exercises. Here are some of them:

Thanks for reading through our article! We hope that you found it helpful and learned some new information. If you liked it, feel free to share it with your friends.

Further reading:

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What Is Critical Thinking? | Definition & Examples

Published on May 30, 2022 by Eoghan Ryan . Revised on November 25, 2022.

Critical thinking is the ability to effectively analyze information and form a judgment .

To think critically, you must be aware of your own biases and assumptions when encountering information, and apply consistent standards when evaluating sources .

Critical thinking skills help you to:

Table of contents

Why is critical thinking important, critical thinking examples, how to think critically, frequently asked questions about critical thinking.

Critical thinking is important for making judgments about sources of information and forming your own arguments. It emphasizes a rational, objective, and self-aware approach that can help you to identify credible sources and strengthen your conclusions.

Critical thinking is important in all disciplines and throughout all stages of the research process . The types of evidence used in the sciences and in the humanities may differ, but critical thinking skills are relevant to both.

In academic writing , critical thinking can help you to determine whether a source:

Outside of academia, critical thinking goes hand in hand with information literacy to help you form opinions rationally and engage independently and critically with popular media.

Critical thinking can help you to identify reliable sources of information that you can cite in your research paper . It can also guide your own research methods and inform your own arguments.

Outside of academia, critical thinking can help you to be aware of both your own and others’ biases and assumptions.

Academic examples

However, when you compare the findings of the study with other current research, you determine that the results seem improbable. You analyze the paper again, consulting the sources it cites.

You notice that the research was funded by the pharmaceutical company that created the treatment. Because of this, you view its results skeptically and determine that more independent research is necessary to confirm or refute them. Example: Poor critical thinking in an academic context You’re researching a paper on the impact wireless technology has had on developing countries that previously did not have large-scale communications infrastructure. You read an article that seems to confirm your hypothesis: the impact is mainly positive. Rather than evaluating the research methodology, you accept the findings uncritically.

Nonacademic examples

However, you decide to compare this review article with consumer reviews on a different site. You find that these reviews are not as positive. Some customers have had problems installing the alarm, and some have noted that it activates for no apparent reason.

You revisit the original review article. You notice that the words “sponsored content” appear in small print under the article title. Based on this, you conclude that the review is advertising and is therefore not an unbiased source. Example: Poor critical thinking in a nonacademic context You support a candidate in an upcoming election. You visit an online news site affiliated with their political party and read an article that criticizes their opponent. The article claims that the opponent is inexperienced in politics. You accept this without evidence, because it fits your preconceptions about the opponent.

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There is no single way to think critically. How you engage with information will depend on the type of source you’re using and the information you need.

However, you can engage with sources in a systematic and critical way by asking certain questions when you encounter information. Like the CRAAP test , these questions focus on the currency , relevance , authority , accuracy , and purpose of a source of information.

When encountering information, ask:

Critical thinking also involves being aware of your own biases, not only those of others. When you make an argument or draw your own conclusions, you can ask similar questions about your own writing:

Critical thinking refers to the ability to evaluate information and to be aware of biases or assumptions, including your own.

Like information literacy , it involves evaluating arguments, identifying and solving problems in an objective and systematic way, and clearly communicating your ideas.

Critical thinking skills include the ability to:

You can assess information and arguments critically by asking certain questions about the source. You can use the CRAAP test , focusing on the currency , relevance , authority , accuracy , and purpose of a source of information.

Ask questions such as:

A credible source should pass the CRAAP test  and follow these guidelines:

Information literacy refers to a broad range of skills, including the ability to find, evaluate, and use sources of information effectively.

Being information literate means that you:

Confirmation bias is the tendency to search, interpret, and recall information in a way that aligns with our pre-existing values, opinions, or beliefs. It refers to the ability to recollect information best when it amplifies what we already believe. Relatedly, we tend to forget information that contradicts our opinions.

Although selective recall is a component of confirmation bias, it should not be confused with recall bias.

On the other hand, recall bias refers to the differences in the ability between study participants to recall past events when self-reporting is used. This difference in accuracy or completeness of recollection is not related to beliefs or opinions. Rather, recall bias relates to other factors, such as the length of the recall period, age, and the characteristics of the disease under investigation.

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How to Write a Critical Thinking Essay: Complete Guide

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Critical thinking is a complex system of judgments that helps to analyze information and come up with valid conclusions, create an assessment of what is happening, and interpret it. It can be said that critical thinking is high-level thinking, which makes it possible to question the incoming information. Read the full guide prepared by our essay writers to be better in studies.

Critical thinking in learning process

Critical thinking as an academic discipline is based on the rules of formal logic, theory, and practice of argumentation, rhetoric, and scientific epistemology (a section of philosophy that deals with instruments and limitations of cognitive activity).

Every human being has two ways of thinking: absorbing information (like a sponge absorbs the water) and thinking about information (like sifting through sand). While a person that uses the first way will be trying to remember the given information in detail, the other one will actively interact with the obtained knowledge. This doesn’t mean that one way is worse; critical thinking combines these two features.

Developing critical thinking is hard, as it’s easier to take the position of your friends, family, or public opinion. Your friends may think that vaccines badly influence children’s health and you will think the same, just because your friends think so. But if you will study available information about this issue, you can change your mind, or just reiterate the conviction.

A person with developed critical thinking skills will be resistant to manipulations, immune to stereotypes or public opinion.

The opinion, worked out independently, can surprise you with its unexpectedness, or it may turn out to be generally accepted. You can find out that such conclusions belong to certain researchers or that they have already been stated by rebels that oppose the established dogmas.

What is a critical thinking essay?

A critical thinking essay is a type of writing that is aimed to improve your analytical skills. Critical thinking essays should teach the student to carefully read the texts, utilize methodical doubt, find weaknesses in both others and personal arguments, work with concepts, and clearly and reasonably express thoughts. The basis of a critical thinking essay is to ask and answer the right questions. Tutors usually pay attention both to the quality of the text and how a student develops arguments about a certain issue. In any case, you will be sure that you have your own position based on your own research and conclusions.

Essay writing is one of the best exercises to help improve critical thinking skills. This will help you learn how to effectively work with information, structure it, filter out questionable data, make conclusions – simply everything connected with critical thinking. For example, critical thinking in essay writing will help nurses analyze their experience, reflect on a situation, solve problems, and make the right decisions in a new situation.

Fortunately, critical thinking is not an organ that can atrophy. If you think that you have low critical thinking skills, you always have a possibility of improving it on your own.

How to start a critical thinking essay

Every text needs structure and focus, and consistent guidelines can help you consider all valuable points of a critical essay. As every piece of academic writing, critical thinking essay format consists of an introduction, several body paragraphs, and conclusion.

Critical thinking essay questions

Do we often think about the role that questions play in our lives? You won’t be able to master critical thinking skills without asking the right questions.

Common questions for critical thinking usually start with who, what, why, where, and when. The right questions will help you think deeply about the context: causes and consequences, analyzing different data, and finding evidence to explain your point. The following questions are aimed to help students to promote critical thinking while writing essays.

Questions about change.

– How has A become a turning point for B? – How has X transformed to Y? – What are the consequences of A? – What is the starting point of Y?

Questions that ask for an evaluation.

– What factors have influenced the decision? – How would the opponent critique this idea? – How would a supporter defend the decision? – How can the decision be applied in other conditions? – What factors have led to unusual consequences?

Questions that ask for rationale and evidence.

– What could be an example? – Are these justifications adequate (suitable, sufficient)? – Why do you think this is true? – What led you to this belief? – Do you have any proof for this?

Questions that ask for synthesis.

– How can this be compared? – Which option is better? – What is the benefit of this decision? – What is the value and importance? – What can I recommend? – What is better to think about?

This structured approach reflects the process that is governed by critical thinking. These questions allow us to challenge traditional thought processes and help to find new solutions.

Critical thinking essay topics

When you need to pick a topic for a critical thinking essay on your own, it can be a daunting task. Our paper writing service experts created a list of topics with suggested questions and ideas that will boost your writing process.

Analyze several articles related to the topic over the internet. Mark several citations that you can cite in your essay. What is your personal attitude to people that take drugs? What is your own point of view about the topic? Write the essay from the perspective of your point of view and support it with citations from sources.

Find relevant internet sources and analyze the origins of this crisis and its resolution. Has the International Monetary Fund provided intervention? Has the crisis ended? How did the Russian economy react to the conclusion?

First, briefly describe the overall development of social welfare in the context of culture and history. Compare the development of social welfare institutions in US and China. How has the poverty reduction policy influenced the situation in China? Discuss the current situation in US and China, focusing on the US social policy. Connect the relationship of poverty reduction and development of welfare institutions in China.

Think about yourself when you were a child. What qualities have you obtained? What qualities have you lost? Why? What factors have influenced your development? Sum up your experience and how it has influenced your personal traits.

What are the qualities of leaders in organizations? Does being a leader mean to have some sort of power? Is the statement “the more power the better” true? What tools do organizations use to manipulate the employees? How can the leader avoid being corrupted?

Write your own overall opinion about the Affordable Care Act. What are weaknesses and strengths of this Act? Develop your own opinion, considering the fact that the Affordable Care Act will require many people to buy insurance or pay a penalty. Are you ready to purchase insurance or get a fine? What would you prefer? Have you ever used health insurance? Do you see any sense in it? Why?

Nowadays, drugs have become a part of life for many people. When a company wants to hire a professional, managers want to be sure that the employee will be reliable and peaceful. Why do companies provide drug testing? How does this testing influence the relationship between worker and employer? What types of drug testing is common in companies? How does drug addiction influence the efficiency of the worker?

First, you should describe what is the essence of critical thinking and meta-cognition. How can all these skills be helpful for students at school and further in life? What practices should schools implement in programs? Are there any working exercises students can practice on their own?

It is pure luck if you have a productive and brilliant employee in your team. Imagine that you have some controversial issues that this employee cannot agree with or his or her behavior is wrong in some way. What psychological strategies exist that can change behavior?

You can pick several products and analyze the ways marketers use to promote particular products. What strategies do Apple marketers use? How do they introduce new categories of products? Can these methods be implemented in other companies? How?

Pick a company that successfully adopted a healthy eating policy for their own goods. Has the company succeeded in it? Has it worked? For example, we can take McDonald’s with a milk-free latte and soy hamburgers. Are these products popular? How does the company promote this subcategory of goods?

First, you will need to collect some information about the topic from articles, your own experience, interviewing, observing, and come up with your point of view. Think about a list of things a good academic writer must do to become a successful writer. Why is it important? How can it be achieved?

What is microaggression? Make research of available sources and determine the forms of microaggression and discrimination. What is the difference between microaggressions in the workplace and sexual harassment? Have you ever faced acts of microaggression in your college, friends group, and media? What type of aggression was it? What can society do to reduce such acts?

Start with the definition of critical thinking and ethics. What are the steps of the critical thinking process? In what ways can you use critical thinking when studying and problem solving? What ethical lens do you prefer from the Ethical Lens Inventory? Think about how your personal ethical norms influence your decisions. How does ethics generally influence societal and professional responsibilities?

critical thinking essay topics

Critical thinking essay topic suggestions

If you still cannot choose a topic, maybe you will find it from these critical thinking essay questions:

Critical thinking essay example

The best way to learn is to learn from examples. You will significantly improve your writing skills if you combine practical advice with a sample. One of the critical thinking essays examples that you can read below was written by a professional writer to show you how this type of essay may look. Let’s check it right away!

What Are the Scientific Causes of Happiness?

This essay will discuss the meaning of happiness and whether there is a scientifically proven method to reach happiness.

Humanity has always been interested in happiness. This term has many definitions and many approaches to modern positive psychology. From the scientific point of view, happiness is a chain of chemical processes in the body, as a result of which a person is saturated with “happiness hormones.”

Dfarhud (2014) research has shown that happiness depends on many brain chemicals: dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, endorphins, cortisol, and melatonin, which can create happy feelings. No specific approach can keep chemicals on the level that brings happiness. According to this study, we can conclude that the assessment of subjective happiness and satisfaction is a complex system, and needs a balance of interactions and counterbalances.

According to Sato (2015), if a person is satisfied with life and often experiences positive emotions, the amount of gray matter in the parietal lobe on the inner surface of the cerebral hemispheres increases in the ancestral part, which is responsible for consciousness and memory. Scientists suppose that happiness can be achieved through meditation and training which, according to studies, increase the mass of gray matter in the parietal lobe of the cerebral hemispheres.

Research by Lyubomirsky (2005) has shown that thoughts can influence the balance of hormones and chemicals. That means that with positive thinking a person generates and reinforces new synapses in the brain that subsequently increase brain functions. But this cannot be applied to those who already are in depression or under certain circumstances that reduce the ability to think positively.

Many neurological articles promise to say something about happiness, but in fact, tell about the remuneration. Psychologists and scientists still have no universal recipe to become a happy person. There are various screening tests to identify the level of happiness, but the problem is that they are quite subjective. Along with brain reactions, happiness also depends on genetics, character, underlying brain systems; it is impossible to influence at a certain brain area or give a pill and make a person happy. The main aim of a scientist shouldn’t be happiness as a whole, but how to use psychic mechanisms and activities that can raise the overall subjective level of happiness.

Dfarhud, D., Malmir, M., & Khananmandi, M. (2014). Happiness & Health: The Biological Factors – Systematic Review Article. Iranian Journal of Public Health, 43(11), 1468–1477.

Lyubomirsky, S., King, L., & Diener, E. (2005). The benefits of frequent positive affect: Does happiness lead to success? Psychological Bulletin, 131(6), 803-855.

Sato, W., Kochiyama, T., Uono, S., Kubota, Y., Sawada, R., Yoshimura, S., & Toichi, M. (2015, November 20). The structural neural substrate of subjective happiness. Retrieved from Scientific Reports:

Exercises for developing critical thinking skills

Critical thinking will not only improve the way you write an essay and do research. It will help you to make the right decisions in your everyday life and analyze situations you face at university and work. Practice at least one of the exercises and you will definitely feel the benefits of thinking critically.

1. Create a journal.

Get used to writing down your thoughts dedicated to a certain topic. Change it, for example, every week. You can follow this format:

Situation. Describe the situation in detail and from various points of view: scientific, logical, and emotional. Your reaction. Describe all of your emotions caused by the situation. Analysis. Think about the situation and try to find out what has happened and why. Try to get to the bottom of it. Evaluation. Try to evaluate the text you have written above. What can you do to improve your way of thinking? What misconceptions have you mentioned?

2. Set the list of goals for the week.

You can list the abilities you want to develop. Accuracy, precision, clarity, logical thinking, etc. That means that you should concentrate on these abilities in all everyday activities. For example, devote one week to concentrate on what you say and how you say it. At the end of the week you can sum up your observation and make improvements in the following week.

3. Pick an interesting topic or issue.

Find an interesting topic that you want to learn. Along with your everyday responsibilities, leave from fifteen to thirty minutes to read information about the chosen topic. This means that every day you will be reading about different points of view about the problem. Your task is to doubt the information and check whether it works or not.

4. Practice mind mapping.

Mind mapping is a great tool that you can use to increase your brain power and perceiving information. Research has shown that mind maps accumulate both left and right brain capacities. Mind mapping can help you summarize information, come up with questions, and increase comprehension. For example, you can create a mind map during one lecture in your college or just listen to any educational video over the internet.

Take a piece of paper and put the main idea in the center. Draw the branches starting from the top right corner and move in a clockwise direction. Each branch will represent keywords (subheadings of the topic). It is recommended to use different colors to group ideas, so it will be easier to encode your mind map later.

Critical thinking is just a way to think with your head, questioning any, even the most interesting ideas. Of course, critical thinking won’t solve all your problems, but it’s a good habit. And the more you think, the more effectively you will work, learn, communicate, and generate creative ideas. In conclusion, there’s nothing more to say but, each of us is free to choose in which world he or she should live – a colorful, multidimensional world or a flat, black-and-white world.

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How to Write a Critical Thinking Essay With Tips and Examples

Essay writing is an integral academic exercise for students in higher educational institutions. As an example of different paper types, a critical thinking essay requires students to employ analytical and reflective writing skills. In essence, these skills underscore essential features of a critical thinking essay: analysis of information, reflection on key findings, a review of the relevance of the information, and an identification of any conclusions made by the author(s) or other scholars. Hence, a critical thinking essay is a document that requires learners to read documents and make interpretations from their points of view. In turn, writers need to learn how to write a critical thinking essay to master their analytical and reflective skills.

General Guidelines of Writing a Critical Thinking Essay

Critical thinking is an essential skill, particularly for students who need to analyze and interpret data. In this case, the essence of this skill is that learners confront issues every day that require them to make prompt decisions. Moreover, critical thinking is the mechanism by which individuals arrive at these decisions. Therefore, a critical thinking essay is a document that allows students to address an issue holistically. Then, it means addressing issues in an essay format by using critical thinking skills from different perspectives, highlighting possible alternatives, and making well thought out decisions. To the audience, such a text makes it easy to understand the writer’s message and either agree or disagree with it. Besides, the decision to agree or disagree is based on the writer’s information regarding an issue in question. Hence, this is why authors of critical thinking essays need to provide details that make their arguments stronger and palatable to the audience.

How to write a critical thinking essay with examples

1. Defining Characteristics of a Critical Thinking Essay

When writing a critical thinking essay, students should address several essential features. Firstly, writers need to reflect on what they have read, meaning taking time to consider the relevance of the information. In this case, such an attitude helps them to make strong arguments in defense of their points of view. Secondly, learners need to analyze how the information is presented and state whether it is sufficient or needs improvement. Thirdly, writers need to review the information based on previous knowledge. Here, they should say whether the information advances a concept or theory or contradicts existing knowledge. Finally, scholars need to identify the conclusion reached by the author(s) of the information and support or challenge it.

2. How To Identify a Critical Thinking Essay

Based on the essential features described above, students can tell whether an essay that they are writing is a critical thinking paper. Ideally, learners can know that their papers are critical thinking essays if prompt requirements require them to read and analyze a text. Basically, the analysis process includes reflecting on the text, commenting on how information is presented and its relation to previous knowledge, and supporting or challenging the conclusion made. In principle, these requirements reflect the defining features of a critical thinking essay.

3. How Does a Critical Thinking Essay Differ From Other Papers

A critical thinking essay differs fundamentally with other types of essays because it requires a student to read a text, such as a book or a poem, and analyze it using the writer’s perspective. Moreover, some instructions need students to analyze a film. In other words, writing a critical thinking essay emphasizes the students’ understanding of information and the meaning of what they have read, watched, or heard. Indeed, it is a central point of difference with other types of papers that require students to refrain from personal viewpoints. Then, this feature means that instructors grade a critical thinking essay based on the writer’s ability to develop a coherent argument and use essential writing skills. In this light, one can argue that a critical thinking essay is a form of an argumentative essay .

Free Examples of 20 Topics for Writing a Critical Thinking Essay

1. identify communication differences between men and women.

Under this topic, the students’ task is to read texts that talk about how men and women communicate and identify the differences. In this case, writers should analyze what they have read and summarize it via concise statements or arguments.

2. Discuss Drug Use in Sports

Under this topic, the students’ task is to research texts, such as research journal articles and government reports, that address the problem of drug use in sports and summarize their findings.

3. Explore the Anti-Meth Campaign

Under this topic, the students’ task is to read widely about anti-meth campaigns and provide an in-depth analysis of their impacts. By reading a critical thinking essay, the audience should understand that specific campaigns have been effective or ineffective.

4. Discuss Homelessness and Its Social Impacts

Under this topic, the students’ task is to read texts about homelessness, such as journal articles and reports by governments and other humanitarian organizations, and explain the root causes and social implications of homelessness.

5. Discuss the History of College Football in the United States

Under this topic, the students’ task is to read documents, such as books and media articles, narrating college football history in the US. After writing a critical thinking essay, the audience should identify specific challenges that college football has faced in its development in the country.

6. Explore Health Effects of Obesity

Under this topic, the students’ task is to read research studies and medical reports discussing obesity. In turn, a critical thinking essay should explain the specific causes of obesity and the risks that obese individuals face.

7. Discuss the Significance of Street Art and Graffiti

Under this topic, the students’ task is to read texts discussing the evolution of street art and graffiti and make compelling arguments as to why they are essential features of modern art.

8. Sports On Television: Is It Necessary?

Under this topic, the students’ task is to explain why television has become a critical platform for sports and how it undermines or helps advance its social and cultural significance.

9. What Is the Essence of Multicultural Identity?

Under this topic, the students’ task is to explore the phenomenon of multiculturalism that has become notable and acceptable in modern society and explain its significance.

10. The Relevance of Body Size in Modeling

Under this topic, the students’ task is to explore the modeling profession and explain why body size matters. In other words, a critical thinking essay should make a case as to why a model should have a particular body size.

11. Understanding Multicultural Families

Under this topic, the students’ task is to explore multicultural families by reading texts that address the issue from a research or commentary perspective and summarize the leading arguments.

12. Changing Gender Roles: What It Means for Traditionalists

Under this topic, the student’s task is to explore gender roles from a historical and present perspective and discuss how it threatens or cements traditional views about the roles of men and women.

13. What Is Ethnic Music, and Does It Matter in a Multicultural Society?

Under this topic, the students’ task is to study multiculturalism and identify how ethnic music is a significant characteristic.

14. American Society and the Latino Influence

Under this topic, the students’ task is to study contemporary American society’s characteristics and indicate the extent to which Latinos and their culture (Latin American) have become a significant part of the American identity.

15. Challenges of Single Parent Households

Under this topic, the students’ task is to read research studies on single parenthood and identify its challenges.

16. What Are the Features of a Good Movie?

Under this topic, the students’ task is to watch movies they consider “good” and provide an analysis of what makes them so.

17. Describe a Poem with a First-Person Point of View

Under this topic, the students’ task is to select a poem, examine it, and describe its outstanding features, such as literary devices.

18. The Dynamics of Adoption in a Multicultural Society

Under this topic, the students’ task is to examine the aspect of adoption within the context of a multicultural society.

19. What Store Strategies Influence Consumers?

Under this topic, the students’ task is to study the phenomenon of retail stores and give an analysis of specific factors that lead to their growth or shut down.

20. Euthanasia: The Questions of Ethics, Morals, and Legality

Under this topic, the students’ task is to examine the aspect of euthanasia (mercy or assisted killing) and give an opinion on whether society should address it from a perspective of ethics, morals, or law.

How Students Can Understand if They Need to Write a Critical Thinking Essay by Looking at a Topic

When it comes to essay writing, the department’s requirements provide direction about a critical thinking topic. By reading such a topic, students get an idea of what kind of paper they are supposed to write. Regarding a critical thinking essay, a topic should require students to research a specific theme, reflect on what they have read, and comment on how the author(s) have presented information, the relevance of the information to existing knowledge, and the significance of the author’s conclusion. In turn, these five tasks underscore the essential features of a critical thinking essay.

Structure of a Critical Thinking Essay

When it comes to an essay structure , a critical thinking essay comprises three main sections: introduction, body, and conclusion. When writing each of these sections, students should capture essential features. Firstly, the introduction should provide a hook to capture the readers’ attention and formulate a thesis statement to guide the paper’s arguments and ideas. In the body, writers should use topic sentences to introduce paragraphs. Besides, students should follow a sandwich rule, where they make a claim, provide supporting facts, and explain the significance of cited evidence to the paper’s thesis. In the conclusion part, authors should restate a thesis statement, summarize the main body points, and make a concluding remark. Finally, other essential features that learners should use in the main text are transitions to give a critical thinking paper a natural and logical flow of ideas and arguments.

Sample Outline Template for Writing a Critical Thinking Essay

I. Introduction

A. Start with a hook sentence that makes a critical thinking essay interesting. B. Cover brief information about a theme discussed in body paragraphs. C. End with a thesis statement of a critical thinking essay.

A. Background Information:

B. Argument on an Issue

C. Importance of an Issue

III. Conclusion

A. Restate a thesis claim. B. Cover the key points discussed in body paragraphs. C. Provide a final thought on an issue.

An Example of a Critical Thinking Essay

Topic: Roles of Critical Thinking Skills

I. Introduction Sample of a Critical Thinking Essay

Critical thinking is a requirement in higher education because it reflects the level of mental preparedness for students intending to join the labor industry. In this case, essay writing is one of the strategies that higher education institutions use to develop these critical thinking skills in students. Writing argumentative essays has profoundly shaped by critical thinking skills and made me more reflective and analytical in my texts.

II. Examples of Body Paragraphs in a Critical Thinking Essay

A. background information of an issue.

The advent of the Internet opened a new world of research as scholars found a platform to publish research findings. Besides scholars, public and private entities have turned to the online platform to spread information they perceive critical and needful. Over time, I have come to see the Internet as a crucial reservoir of knowledge, and I always turn to it for personal enrichment. Moreover, Gilster (1997) perceives critical thinking as a critical skill for individuals who use online platforms for academic purposes. In this case, the author demonstrates that, since the Internet is full of falsehoods and incomplete and obsolete information, it is critical for those who depend on this technology to employ critical thinking. Hence, such thinking helps users distinguish between essential, relevant information, and what appears to be irrelevant and nonessential.

On the issue of critical thinking, examining and analyzing content are fundamental exercises. In essence, critical thinking entails reading a text and interpretation of it by using an analytical lens. For example, when students read novels, they can use their critical thinking skills to analyze the plot and characters and provide arguments that indicate an in-depth understanding of both (Gilster, 1997). In most cases, such ideas go beyond what is written in the novel to include the student’s interpretation of events. In my case, I use the Internet to find research and media articles on different topics, such as homelessness, substance abuse, crime, and police and law enforcement. Moreover, I use these articles to reflect on the dynamics that shape life in contemporary society, using my critical thinking skills to relate the past, present, and future. Therefore, I can state confidently that this habit has made me a strong debater on contemporary issues.

By using critical thinking skills, readers make deductions, thereby showcasing their understanding levels. As the literature suggests, critical thinking serves as a basis for knowledge accumulation and advancement (Ku & Ho, 2010). In my academic journey, I have employed critical thinking to gain insight on several issues. Furthermore, one of these issues is the significance of politics to the life of the ordinary citizen. Then, many documents I have read about politics have made me conclude that politicians are selfish by default and only develop consensus when their interests are accommodated. Hence, this understanding has made me have minimal expectations from local and national political figures.

III. Conclusion Sample of a Critical Thinking Essay

Critical thinking is a key skill that helps individuals to analyze and reflect on information from diverse sources. Over the years, I have used critical thinking to analyze research and media articles published on the online platform and make logical deductions. Moreover, these deductions point to my ability to take information, analyze, and interpret it. Thus, I can confidently state that my critical thinking skills have made me aware of human weaknesses and the risk of putting too much trust in people vulnerable to shortcomings.

Gilster, P. (1997). Digital literacy: The thinking and survival skills new users need to make the Internet personally and professionally meaningful . New York, NY: Wiley.

Ku, K. Y., & Ho, I. T. (2010). Metacognitive strategies that enhance critical thinking. Metacognition and Learning , 5 (3), 251-267.

Summing Up on How to Write a Good Critical Thinking Essay

A critical thinking essay is a document that reflects students’ ability to use analytical and reflective skills in studying an issue. Although writing a critical thinking essay assumes following a basic structure of a standard essay, it has features that distinguish it from other papers. When writing this type of essay, students should master the following tips:

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