Critical writing can contain evaluation, judgement, questioning, implications and solutions, conclusions, and recommendations.
Evaluation is a systematic determination of its subject's merit, worth or significance, using criteria governed by a set of standards.
Evaluative writing I use to judge something according to my set of criteria. The primary purpose of my evaluations, is usually gaining insight and identifying possible desirable changes.
I strive to follow these rules:
- Have a clear argument.
- Formulate a thesis statement.
- Research and present the subject well.
- Challenge my biases.
- Come to a conclusion of some value.
Critique and Opinion
Critique is a critical evaluation or analysis, especially of works of art or literature - a methodical practice of doubt with recognition of merit, or a critical essay or commentary, an instance of formal criticism.
In German, Italian, French, or Russian, there is no distinction between 'critique' and 'criticism'. In the English, critique is not personalized nor ad hominem, but is instead the analyses of the structure in the content of the item critiqued.
Critical thinking employs not only logic but also clarity, credibility, accuracy, precision, relevance, depth, breadth, significance, and fairness.
Critical thinking skills include observation, interpretation, analysis, inference, evaluation, explanation, and meta-cognition, and the the ability to:
- Identify evidence through reality.
- Isolate the problem from context.
- Establish relevant criteria for judgment.
- Prioritize and order precedence for problem-solving.
- Gather relevant information.
- Recognize unstated assumptions and values.
- Comprehend and use language with accuracy.
- Interpret data to appraise evidence and evaluate arguments.
- Recognize the existence or non-existence of logical relationships.
- Draw and test warranted conclusions and generalizations.
- Reconstruct patterns of beliefs on the basis of wider experience.
- Render accurate judgments about specific things and qualities.
Opinions may deal with subjective matters, in which there is no conclusive finding, or with facts.
Facts are verifiable, and can be agreed to by the consensus of experts. Facts are known to be consistent with objective reality and can be proven to be true with evidence. They serve as concrete descriptions of a state of affairs on which beliefs can later be assigned.
If opinions are supported by facts and principles, they become arguments.
Argument is a series of statements (premises), intended to determine the degree of truth of another statement (conclusion).
Logic is the study of the forms of reasoning in arguments.
- In a valid deductive argument, premises necessitate the conclusion, even if some premises are false, and the conclusion is false.
- In a sound argument, true premises necessitate a true conclusion.
Inductive arguments can have different degrees of logical strength: the stronger the argument, the greater the probability that the conclusion is true.
People may draw opposing conclusions (opinions) even if they agree on the same set of facts. Opinions can be persuasive, but only the assertions they are based on can be said to be true or false.
Analysis of social phenomena based on opinions is referred to as normative analysis (what ought to be), and positive analysis is based on scientific observation.
Significance, worthiness of attention, evaluative importance, seriousness, or magnitude of something is usually an opinion.
Meaning is something conveyed by language, concept, or action - intended or not.
Evidence is anything presented in support of an assertion, which hopefully provides proof of the truth of the statement.
Scientific evidence consists of observations and experimental results that serve to support, refute, or modify a scientific hypothesis or theory, when collected and interpreted in accordance with the scientific method.
Legal evidence include testimony, documentary evidence, and physical evidence.
Epistemology is the study of the knowledge, justification, and the rationality of belief. It considers the nature of knowledge and how it can be acquired, the sources and scope of knowledge and justified belief, and the criteria for knowledge and justification.
Skepticism is a questioning attitude towards items of knowledge or dogma, and is often directed at supernatural, morality, theism, or certainty. Scientific skepticism tests beliefs for reliability and subjects them to systematic investigation using the scientific method, to discover empirical evidence for them.