Need help? We are here

  4.4 Assignment: Critical Thinking Standards 

Getting Started

Critical thinking

Successful completion of a doctoral degree requires an enormous amount of time and energy devoted to reading, analyzing, and evaluating sources. This week’s discussion builds upon the work from last week and shifts the focus from your own writing to that of others. The information you will encounter in the text is helpful to continue honing and adapting your ability to think critically as you evaluate research. 

At this point in the course, you have spent time reviewing research and determining its relevance. This week’s discussion focuses on the specific questions you will want to answer as you build your database of references and resources. By examining an article found through this lens of reasoning, you will be more adept at determining the significance and helpfulness to your work. These questions will allow you to explore an essential method of critiquing and organizing your research.

Upon successful completion of this assignment, you will be able to:

  • Analyze an article according to specific criteria.
  • Synthesize and summarize an author’s ability to exhibit standards of critical thinking.

Background Information

Here is a link to OCLS’s webpage on evaluating online and print resources(new tab).


  1. Review the rubric to make sure you understand the criteria for earning your grade. 
  2. Read the following chapters in The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking Concepts and Tools:
    1. Universal Intellectual Standards
    2. Intellectual Virtues of the Fairminded Critical Thinker
    3. The Spirit of Critical Thinking
    4. The Human Mind Is Frequently Irrational While Having the Capacity for Rational Thought
  3. As you read, create for yourself a list of standards based on the text that you can use to analyze an author’s critical thinking. The standards should indicate what evidence shows critical thinking as well as flawed or irrational thinking.
  4. For this assignment, you will choose another article that relates to your research topic of interest. Locate the article through OCLS(new tab). If you use Google Scholar, be sure you are connected to OCLS so you have full access. It is best, however, if you use this activity to get more comfortable with finding resources provided to you through the library.
  5. Write an organized, APA-formatted analysis (300-400 words) of your chosen article according to the standards you consider most important for evaluating the critical thinking of the author. In what ways did the author(s) consider the questions posed in the text and address them?
  6. Use your resources to ensure your assignment is properly formatted, includes references for the article and text, and is free of writing errors.
  7. Submit your assignment by the end of the workshop.

Review the associated rubric

APA 7th edition, 400 words