The Many Traits of Critical Thinking

We’ve talked a number of times about the need for students to use critical thinking to effectively evaluate and process new knowledge [see here and here]. It helps, though, to understand the specific steps that make up the critical thinking process. Here are nine steps, adapted from an infographic designed by Mentoring Minds.

  1. Examine

Use a variety of methods to explore the information and to analyze what it means.

  1. Inquire

Seek out additional information on the topic that excites your curiosity and inspires learning.

  1. Strive

Use effort and determination to focus on tasks that are challenging.

  1. Adapt

Adjust your actions and strategies to accomplish tasks relating to the information when your original approach doesn’t work.

  1. Collaborate

Work with other students to obtain new perspectives and achieve better outcomes.

  1. Reflect

Review your thoughts and experiences to guide your actions regarding what you do with the information.

  1. Link

Apply your knowledge concretely to gain new understanding.

  1. Create

Use your knowledge, understanding, and imagination to express new and innovative ideas.

  1. Communicate

Use clear language to express your ideas about the new knowledge and share information with fellow students.

New information is useless unless you can communicate it to others. When you’re able to accurately and completely explain what you’ve learned, you have mastered that knowledge.

Which of these steps do you find particularly useful when learning new information and connecting it to what you already know? Leave us your thoughts in the comments section below.


Author: AceReader Blogger

The AceReader blogging team is made up of specialists in a number of different areas: literacy, general education, content development, and educational software. For questions about posts, please submit them in the form below. For suggestions about blog topics, please email them to

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