critical thinking model 1- College Paper Lab |

College Paper Lab

critical thinking model 1- College Paper Lab |

Critical Thinking Model

Critical thinking involves the ability to be in control of one’s thinking. It includes the ability to consciously examine the elements of one’s reasoning, or that of another, and evaluate that reasoning against universal intellectual standards of clarity, accuracy, precision, relevance, depth, breadth, and logic. It also involves the structured examination of sources of information.

For your initial post:

  • Review Paul and Elder’s Critical Thinking Model media piece from this week’s What You Need to Know. You may recall that you were introduced to the Paul and Elder model in your first course at Capella. Since that time, you have used critical thinking to develop your coursework as you considered problems in the field of psychology, reviewed research, applied theories, and worked toward recommended solutions.
  • Reflect on the eight elements of thought in the model and on the intellectual standards. Describe some specific ways you have implemented some of the elements and standards into your academic work. To give your peers and instructor a good understanding of your application, as you compose your post, name specific elements and standards. Discuss ways the elements and standards have applied to your everyday thinking and behavior as you interact with people in your personal and professional life.

Critical Thinking Model:


This presentation contains three sections: Model, Guidelines, and Questions. Examine each section and apply the content to deconstruct the issue you are studying.


Paul-Elder Critical Thinking Model

The Critical Thinking Model was developed by Dr. Richard Paul and Dr. Linda Elder. Dr. Paul and Dr. Elder are internationally recognized authorities on critical thinking.

  • Dr. Paul is the Director of Research and Professional Development at the Center for Critical Thinking and Chair of the National Council for Excellence in Critical Thinking. He has written eight books and over 200 articles on the subject.
  • Dr. Elder is the President of the Foundation for Critical Thinking and Executive Director of the Center for Critical Thinking, a leading international institute that promotes critical thinking in every domain of life.

The Elements of Reasoning diagram (Paul & Elder, 2014, p. 6) presents the essential categories of their critical thinking model.

It consists of eight categories. They are:

  • Purpose of Thinking (Goal Objective)
  • The Question (Problem or Issue)
  • Information (Experience, Facts, Data, Observations)
  • Concepts (Theories, Definitions, Axioms, Laws, Principles, Domain)
  • Interpretation & Inference (Conclusions)
  • Assumptions (Presupposition/Taking for Granted)
  • Points of View (Frame of Reference, Perspective, Orientation)
  • Implications & Consequences (Possible, Probable & Necessary)


Critical Thinking Guidelines

Dr. Paul and Dr. Elder created critical thinking guidelines and questions based on their model of thinking.

Use the following guidelines to think critically about the content you are studying in your research:

  • Consider the main issue or problem the author is focusing on in the reading.
  • Identify the main purpose of the article or resource.
  • Determine how the author is using his or her information, in relation to the main issue.
  • Determine what conclusions are being drawn by the author.
  • Analyze the implications of these conclusions.
  • Identify the main concepts the author is focusing on, in relation to the main issue.
  • Examine the author’s point of view.
  • Consider what assumptions is the author making. (Paul & Elder, 2014).


Critical Thinking Questions

Once you have clearly established the author’s logic in the resource you are researching (as detailed in the Guidelines tab), you are prepared to write a critical analysis of the problem. In your analysis, address the following types of questions:

  • Discuss the significance of the issue that is the focus of the article. Why is it important? On what do you base your assertions regarding its significance?
  • What potential problems do you see in the author’s reasoning? What potential problems are there with the author’s use of information?
  • Does the information use appear relevant, significant, valid, and sufficient for the conclusions being drawn?
  • Do you have enough information to determine whether the information is relevant, significant, and valid?
  • What point of view is ignored by this author, or has not been considered in dealing with the issue? (Paul & Elder, 2014).

Finally, consider alternatives for solving the problem by reflecting on the issue.


Paul, R., & Elder, L. (2014). The miniature guide to critical thinking: Concepts and tools (7th ed.). Dillon Beach, CA: Foundation for Critical Thinking.

Foundation for Critical Thinking. (2009). Critical thinking model. Retrieved from


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