There are numerous definitions and interpretations of the concept Critical Thinking. It may be defined as, a process by which we use our knowledge and intelligence to effectively arrive at the most reasonable and justifiable positions on issues. This definition is summarized from Greg R. Haskins' definition of critical thinking in his article "A Practical Guide to Critical thinking." Not everyone values the need for critical thinking. Just because you are intelligent or have great knowledge does not mean you can think critically and this is where many university students fall short. .
A well cultivated critical thinker raises important questions and problems, gathers and asses relevant information and communicates effectively with others. Critical Thinking also teaches a variety of skills including, reasoning, problem solving, and decision making, evaluation. All these characteristics when combined can assist in one becoming a successful university student. .
When 17th century French philosopher René Descartes coined the phrase 'I think therefore I am', he managed to neatly sum up the fact that the ability to reason has always been crucial l to us. It follows then that how well we can reason is likely to be a sign of our intelligence, to be able to extract information from our knowledge and use it to resolve new problems as they arise. The ability to reason has a great impact on one's ability to learn from new information and experiences because reasoning skills determine how people comprehend, evaluate, and accept claims and arguments. .
Reasoning skills are also crucial for being able to generate and maintain viewpoints or beliefs that are coherent with, and justified by, relevant knowledge. This skill is essential to university students because it gives way for proof of understanding of material read which a key concept to passing exams is. Everybody can benefit from having good problem solving skills as we all encounter problems on a daily basis.