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Critical Thinking and Problem Solving – A.J. Smith

What is Critical Thinking?

Critical thinking is the objective analysis and evaluation of an issue to form a judgment and take action.

How is Critical Thinking different from regular thinking?

Critical thinking requires logic and accuracy.  Regular thinking often focuses on personal opinion and experiences, opinions of others, faith, or emotions.  Critical thinking requires evidence and further actions of examination and analysis, regular thinking does not.  Both forms of thinking are mental processes.  Regular thinking is simply an action, while critical thinking can be categorized as a skill.

What are some skills or attributes required in order to think critically?

  1. Reasoning
  2. Evaluating
  3. Problem-solving
  4. Decision making
  5. Creativity
  6. Open-mindedness
  7. Analyzing
  8. Communication

Here are the steps to effective critical thinking:


  1. What do I know?
  2. How do I know?
  3. What is important?
  4. What is missing?
  5. What is my plan of action?
  6. How did I do?

Learning how to apply critical thinking skills can make you more effective as a student, employee, and employer.  Perhaps more importantly, learning how to think critically can help you think through important personal life issues and help you make the right decisions.

About AJ Smith

AJ Smith

AJ Smith is a Civil Engineer and Senior Project Manager at Hull & Associates.

With over 18 years of engineering experience, AJ knows what it takes to be a “professional problem solver” and what critical thinking skills it requires.

Hull & Associates is an industry leader helping clients design innovative solutions to transform their projects. You can learn more about Hull & Associates by visiting their website: hullinc.com.