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Becoming a Critical Thinker

For your university studies and beyond

Sarah Birrell Ivory

13 January 2021

ISBN: 9780198841531

344 pages

In Stock

Price: £17.99

Practical, approachable, and thought-provoking: your complete companion to critical thinking.


A clear, user-friendly, and inspiring guide to developing essential critical thinking skills in all undergraduate degree subjects, with unique practitioner and student interviews to help students appreciate how vital critical thinking is in an academic, professional, and personal context.

  • The only critical thinking skills book to include advice and insights from practitioners across a range of industries - including banking, law, media, medicine, and creative organizations - to demonstrate why critical thinking is an essential skill in today's workplace.
  • Includes unique interviews with students from a range of universities, offering reassurance and guidance on how to tackle reading lists, voice ideas or questions in groups, and listen actively, from those who have first-hand experience.
  • Learning features that fully support the reader to develop and apply critical thinking skills include: guided exercises, guided reflections, checklists, and further reading.
  • The author's personable, engaging, and clear writing style demystifies the topic and conveys essential guidance in a concise manner.
  • The clear three-part structure covers the importance of critical thinking, the three aims of critical thinking, and the five tools you need to develop and use in order to achieve those aims.

About the Author(s)

Sarah Birrell Ivory, Lecturer in Climate Change and Business Strategy, University of Edinburgh Business School

Dr Sarah Birrell Ivory is a Lecturer in Climate Change and Business Strategy at the University of Edinburgh Business School (UEBS). Dr Ivory established the undergraduate Global Challenges for Business course, which in 2019 won one of the prestigious Aspen Institute's 'Ideas Worth Teaching' awards. This course is centred around critical thinking, understood through the lens of global challenges. Dr Ivory has taken this award-winning approach to offer students and educators a fresh way of learning and teaching critical thinking. In addition, Dr Ivory is Director of the Centre for Business, Climate Change and Sustainability (CBCCS) and has an established research career in sustainability, social enterprise, and critical thinking pedagogy. In the past, Dr Ivory has taught study skills for business, strategy, organisational behaviour, leadership, sustainability, and climate and environmental policy.

Table of Contents

    Part 1: What is a critical thinker and why become one?
    1:Why go to university?
    2:What is critical thinking?
    3:How to become a critical thinker
    Part 2: Understanding the three aims of critical thinking
    4:Quality of argument
    5:Strength of evidence
    6:Clarity of communication
    Part 3: Mastering the five tools of critical thinking


"This book is a huge improvement on, and contribution to, the field and has given me hope that we might, with its help, be able to significantly improve students' knowledge in this area." - Dr Elaine Clark, Alliance Manchester Business School, University of Manchester

"The greatest gift I could have been given at the start of my undergraduate degree would have been this book." - Hal Meakin, Politics student at Brunel University

"The tone and style of the text is engaging, informative and encourages students to rise to the challenge of adapting to the rigours of studying at university. " - Anne Kavanagh, Talent Development Centre, University of Essex

"This book is particularly excellent for anyone who does not yet realise the potential they hold, and it informs them of the skills that can be applied not just at their university, but in their social and working lives." - Osman Tatrokov, Senior Student Ambassador, University of Roehampton Law School

"An innovative, genuine, and thought-provoking text. " - Dr Alicja Syska, Learning Development Advisor, University of Plymouth

"I think it would be a useful guide for every student, major, year of study!" - Iris Patra, Business student at The American College of Greece

"For students coming from an educational background that emphasises consuming knowledge, this book is a long-awaited antidote that provides a very structured and guided approach to developing more complex learning styles." - Dr Simon Snowden, University of Liverpool

Additional Resources

Digital formats and resources
Becoming a Critical Thinker is available for students and institutions to purchase in a variety of formats, and is supported by online resources.
- The e-book offers a mobile experience and convenient access along with functionality tools, navigation features, and links that offer extra learning support: www.oxfordtextbooks.co.uk/ebooks

The book's online resources include:

For students:
- Additional 'student say' features
- Links to additional resources
- Downloadable Tools Matrix
- Downloadable checklists
- Fully-customisable argument map
- MCQs
- Flashcard glossary

For lecturers:
- Tutorial suggestions
- PowerPoint slides

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