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Asking the Right Questions: A Guide to Critical Thinking
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Asking the Right Questions: A Guide to Critical Thinking

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  1,557 ratings  ·  176 reviews
'Asking the Right Questions' helps students bridge the gap between simply memorising or blindly accepting information, and the greater challenge of critical analysis and synthesis. ...more
Paperback, 8th Edition, 212 pages
Published January 31st 2006 by Prentice Hall (first published 1981)
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Average rating 3.95  · 
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 ·  1,557 ratings  ·  176 reviews

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Tahani Shihab
3.5 stars
Megan Dascoli
Sep 27, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is very accessible to all levels of yound adult and adult readers. It is broken down into 12 critial thinking questions that you ask when someone presents you with an argument to determine if the argument makes sense. The process is simple and is very valuable to apply to every situation where some one is trying to influence your opinion. This means arguements, advertisements, articles. It is practical, builds on itself, and presents many examples to test your comprehension and ability ...more
Dec 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Taught from this in critical thinking about social issues course and it worked well as concise with many examples.
Nov 14, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an excellent introduction to critical thinking. There is a focus on asking critical questions and on spotting fallacies. This would be perfect for those who are just starting at university or for those in high school who are planning to go to university. However, to be honest, there are a lot of university graduates that could benefit from this as well.
Jun 24, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is pretty good. If you want to know how to think (I know "How to think? That's stupid, but really . . .) then this is a good one. Used this several times. It's a pretty easy read and helps you think critically, logically, to avoid fallacies . . . all the good critical thinking stuff. If you don't know about this stuff and never took the course in high school, it's not only going to help you analyze stories better but think more successfully in work, school, community and more. Essential stu ...more
Dave B.
‘Asking the right Questions’ was a great book for two reasons. First, it provides several relevant examples. Second, the book is concise and only presents essential information. I compare it to Strunk and White’s ‘Elements of Style,’ the classic grammar reference for avoiding needless fluff or pointless anecdotes. It’s about 180 pages and provides a great companion book for Paul & Elder’s ‘Critical Thinking: tools for taking charge of your professional and personal life’. The following is a quic ...more
Christopher Rush
Jul 02, 2017 rated it did not like it
Well ... that was rubbish. Not only is this full of biases and horribly inappropriate "practice exercises" (many of which deal with various forms of human perversion), but also it is laboriously redundant and ultimately a gigantic waste of time. Basically, Biff Tannen will crash into a truckload of this book in Back to the Future, pt. 4. Several years ago, without reading it, I snagglepussed their list of "the right questions" for a class handout on critical thinking, supplementing the list with ...more
Muhammad  Shalaby
finalword quote:
Your best strategy is to present yourself as someone, who like the person who made the argument in the first place is stumbling around, but always watchful for better conclusions. Openness is a central value of a critical thinker, and you show that openness by your eagerness to listen and discover. Whoever finds the better conclusion first is not relevant; what is important is the search for better conclusions. If you give signals to those trying to persuade you that you are thei
May 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oooh, this book has me planning and scheming for next school year! I can't wait to implement the ideas and questions proffered by this text. I'd really love to read the 12th edition, as it has an updated chapter on biases, stereotypes, and learning to question those in power. Resistance through critical thinking! Yes! ...more
Sep 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: got-recommended
It's not about what you know, but rather how you ask your questions, process it and give critics right back. ...more
Tom Schulte
I find myself in consideration of social media posts, political movements, etc. saying (to myself), "What we need is more critical thinking here...." So, I decided to peruse a college textbook on the topic myself. This is an efficient presentation with guided exercises helping the reader to coolly identify the issue and conclusion, spot opinions as basis, qualify assumptions (descriptive and prescriptive) and spot fundamental errors in reasoning and logic such as false dichotomies. Much emphasis ...more
David Stephens
Nov 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: education
Asking the Right Questions provides readers with a solid walk through of how to critically analyze a formal or informal piece of argumentative writing. It clearly lists the steps one needs to take to understand and evaluate an argument, which it thinks of as a "sponge and filter" approach. First, readers must absorb the information presented by doing any of the following: summarizing, finding the thesis and reasons for support, rooting out any ambiguity, and finding the writer's underlying assum ...more
Jul 05, 2009 rated it it was ok
This is something of a freshman college level textbook/guide for critical thinking. Some good information, but pretty basic and not a compelling presentation. The book struggles with offering a clear, powerful structure or systematic approach, and instead offered suggestions and tips on things to bear in mind.
Matt Strohmeyer
Jul 07, 2014 rated it liked it
Very accessible but somewhat simplistic view of Critical Thinking. Mostly practical with little discussion of the theoretical / interdisciplinary approach to foster critical thinking. Ideas of the "sponge" and "panning for gold" provide good analogies of how to learn with a critical eye. ...more
Abhinav Chada
A thorough book on critical thinking that presents the reader with a checklist of questions to be asked to evaluate an argument better and the use cases associated with each technique. The chapters towards the end felt exhaustive but are meant for the readers new to the concept of critical reasoning. This is a book I am going to re-read and refer to from time to time.
Sarah Kate Brewer
May 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Required reading for one of my favorite classes at UGA- sad that it got cut short :(
But this should be a required reading for life probably
Barack Liu
Sep 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing

174-Asking the Right Questions-Neil Brown-Methodology-1981
2018/06/1 7

- assuming that acceptable? Is the evidence true? Are there flaws in the argumentation process? Are there other possibilities?

Asking the Right Questions, first published in the United States in 1981. It applies research results in the field of critical thinking, enumerates a large number of examples in scientific research and daily life, and teaches people how to propose, think, judge, and solve problems rati
Todd Allen
Oct 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’ve neither taken a course in critical thinking nor have I read any other books on the subject. After reading this short-yet-comprehensive work, I’ve come to the opinion that the incorporation of the subject matter it contains is of great importance for everyone. Browne and Keeley’s tome catalogues and dissects the many entanglements inherent in the communications we receive, process and judge. Outlined is a menu of critical thinking tools, built upon multiple revisions and improvements, and ai ...more
Mar 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: achs
This book was required reading for my Critical Thinking 101 class at the American College of Healthcare Sciences. I greatly enjoyed the book, and while it took me a little bit to read, digest, and be sure I understood what the book was explaining, I found it to be very interesting and enlightening. The examples were very helpful. It explained several fallacies of quick thinking, and described that slow thinking is a better option to better analyze arguments and opinions of others. I have been ab ...more
Dec 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
I believe that I took long time to finish this book. Consequently, I got bored at the three last chapters as I felt that repetition exists within the book.
In general, it was a well-written book that trains you to think critically. One of the strengths of this book is that it did not focus only on logical fallacies but also elaborated many vital principles such as value conflict and the difference between prescriptive and descriptive arguments.
Somehow, it needed more explanation when it comes to
Feb 14, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: uno-2019
"A Guide to Critical Thinking" filled with weak exercises, logical errors, and questions asked simply to make the author's point for them, rather than actually evaluate a concept. Half the time the "critical thinking" hinged on you simply not knowing the actual definition of a word.

I had to read this for a graduate level course and it was an insulting waste of everyone's time, especially given that my course is on the governmental budget. I wouldn't use this overly simplistic book past an 8th gr
Ahmed Hamad
Dec 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
That was a great read. The structuring is quite brilliant, with the content being easy to both apprehend and retain. It is simple, to the point, and still encourages the proper "critical thinker attitude" throughout the book. Even though it could have been shorter without losing much value, it is -in my humble opinion- still possibly one of the greatest books to start with in the topic of critical thinking. ...more
Sep 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
Why didn't I read this book when I was younger?!(Slams palm to forehead) ...more
Oct 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very very good book on critical thinking.
Aug 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A must-read guide for all critical thinkers
Hom Sack
Mar 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Clearly presented in a logical sequence with many instructive examples. Highly recommended.
Abigail Woodruff
Ugh. I have been reminded by this read why I hate reading for school sometimes.
Dec 01, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Great for high school and college students
May 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: leadership
Issue: Critical Thinking is hard work, and not many people take the time to do it.
Conclusion: Anyone can think critically with enough practice and discipline.
Reasons: You just have to practice, and go through the steps until they become second nature.
Ambiguous: Critical thinking may mean different things to different people.
Value conflicts: Does everyone want to think critically? Would it make the world a better place if they did?
Fallacies: There wasn't an exhaustive list of fallacies, I'm sure
Viet Dung Nguyen
Mar 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Einstein’s quote “the important thing is to never stop questioning” teach us to be always curious about the world. It’s great that you are asking questions, but it’s even greater that you are “asking the right questions”. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not about judging your questions, the “right questions” are questions that guide you to the next level of thinking, critical thinking. Critical thinking is about awareness of critical questions, ability to ask and answer critical questions at approp ...more
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