What is critical thinking?

young man thinking

Did you know that critical thinking is not synonymous with being negative and critical? Critical thinking could involve criticizing an argument, but it’s more than that. It’s thoughtfully reasoned consideration.

Want some more help? Check out these critical thinking resources:

Critical thinking (online guide)
Griffith University Library
Provides advice and links to resources.

5 tips to improve your critical thinking (video)
Ted-Ed
Samantha Agoos describes a 5-step process that may help you with any number of problems.

Critical thinking (video)
QualiaSoup
A look at some of the principles of critical thinking.

Critical thinking: a concise guide (book)
Tracy Bowell and Gary Kemp
Routledge, 2015
This book provides you with the tools to become a successful critical thinker; one who can act and believe in accordance with good reasons, and who can articulate and make explicit those reasons.

Critical thinking skills for dummies (eBook)
Cohen, Martin
John Wiley & Sons, 2015
Offering expert guidance on sound reasoning and textual analysis, this accessible and friendly book provides hands-on, lively, and fun exercises that you can put to work today to improve your arguments and pin down key issues.

A practical guide to critical thinking: deciding what to do and believe (eBook)
Hunter, David, A.
John Wiley & Sons, 2014
Pursuing an interdisciplinary approach to critical thinking, this book is a unique presentation of the formal strategies used when thinking through reasons and arguments in many areas of expertise.


And the winner of our 2018 Library Shelfie competition is…

You guys have spoken!

After a month of posting Library Shelfies on Insta and a week of fierce voting on the Library Blog, the polls have closed and our #LibraryShelfie winner has been determined! 

Congratulations @emilybalanzategui! You’ve joined an elite group of students who have won our Library Shelfie competition over the years. You’ve also scored yourself a hefty $300.

We were absolutely amazed with the calibre of entries this year! So amazed, in fact, that we decided we to add in two special mentions.

Congratulations @ollie_crofts and @i.live.with.lockie, we’ll be giving you $50 for your fantastically creative entries!

Thanks to everyone who entered, voted, or simply watched from afar. You are all winners in our humble opinion. You win… our most heartfelt thanks.

Stay tuned—over the next two weeks we’ll put up a gallery of our entries up on display within our library foyers.


Attend our free workshop on Digital Tools for Research

Are you a budding researcher?

If you’re looking for tools that’ll make researching tons easier, or just want to know about the latest digital tools being used in research, then you’ll want to come along to our Digital Tools for Research workshop.

From research, to data collation and visualisation, to writing and collaboration–this hands-on workshop will introduce you to new ways of tackling old problems. It will cover everything from high-end data storage and compute through to basic note-taking.

What will it teach me?

The workshop will allow you to:

  • identify the different stages in your research workflow and identify modern digital tools that you can use at each stage
  • identify new tools to apply to one or more of your workflow stages and determine its suitability for your research
  • learn the fundamentals of your selected tool.

Session dates and booking:

Gold Coast:
  • Date: Wednesday 3 September
  • Time: 1 – 3 pm
  • Location: G10 (Library), 2.04
  • Register here
Nathan:
  • Date: Tuesday 18 September
  • Time: 10 am – 12 pm
  • Location: N53 (Library), 1.50
  • Register here

Places are limited so book early!


Masters and Slaves: Attend this free event and watch a literary showdown!

What are you doing Thursday night? Studying studiously, late-night shopping, chilling in bed?

While all the aforementioned are great options, let us suggest an even better one: come along to our annual Masters and Slaves event.

Who doesn’t love a good duel? Whether it’s between Rocky Balboa and Apollo Creed in Rockyor our School of Humanities, Languages and Social Sciences students and literary greats…

In this must-see event, students will perform a piece inspired by a famous author; living or dead. Whether they talk them up or take them down, we’ll find out who are the literary masters and who the slaves.

Hosted by Friends of the Library, Masters and Slaves is a crowd favourite; after all, who doesn’t love take-down critiques, satirical rants, author dedications and painful homages?

You can’t miss this epic duel! Book now:

  • When: Thursday 16 August 2018
  • Where: Drama Theatre, The Link (G07), Gold Coast Campus
  • Cost: Free, including catered food
  • Book online

How to get started writing your assignment

Image of a woman sitting on her laptop

You’ve unpacked the topic, gathered information, and now you’re ready to write your assignment. Most academic writing has a similar structure. Whether it’s an essay, a case study or a literature review, you will have to write an introduction, body and conclusion.

Introduction

An introduction acts as a ‘roadmap’ to your reader. It helps them to understand where you are going in your assignment, how you will get there, and what they will see along the way.  There are several distinct parts to an introduction:

  • Introducing the topic or subject area – The main aim of the first part of any introduction is to introduce the topic or subject area, and the most important concept(s) relevant to answering the question.
  • Aim or purpose – Indicate the aim or purpose of the assignment.
  • Structure or overall plan – Signal how you will present information in the assignment. In what order will the key points appear?
  • Limits or scope of the assignment – Mention any limits of your assignment. What will you emphasise? Will you be intentionally leaving anything out?
  • Argument or thesis statement – The final part of the introduction needs to clearly identify your argument or thesis statement. Some useful ways to signal your argument include: ‘This paper argues that…’; This essay contends that…’; ‘It will be argued that…’.

Body

The body is where you make points to support your argument. It consists of paragraphs structured to reflect your critical thinking about the question and the chosen order for presenting your argument.

Each paragraph should have a topic sentence, a body, and a concluding sentence. Start each paragraph with a topic sentence. This is just a sentence that expresses the main idea of the paragraph.

The body of the paragraph contains explanations, evidence and examples to support the key point of the paragraph. Supporting evidence is used to justify, explain or develop your argument.

A concluding sentence links the main idea of the paragraph back to your argument and to the assignment topic.

Conclusion

The conclusion is a summary of all the main points discussed in the assignment. It is also where recommendations may be made, your argument is evaluated, or future patterns of change are forecast.

Importantly, your conclusion should:

  • contain no new ideas or information
  • briefly list your key points
  • relate key points directly back to the question/argument.

For more information, check out our Writing your assignment study smart tutorial which includes:


Library opening hours for the Ekka public holidays

Image of a ferris wheel

Roll up. Roll up. The Ekka is in town!

And with that, we get a few days off! Starting next Monday, the round of Show holidays begins. These dates differ for Brisbane, Logan and Gold Coast cities.

Library opening hours have changed for the Show holidays so be sure to check the library opening hours for your campus library.

Logan Show Holiday
Mon 13 August 2018
Brisbane Show Holiday
Wed 15 August 2018
Gold Coast Show Holiday
Fri 31 August 2018
Gold Coast 7 am – 12 am 7 am – 12 am 10 am – 5 pm
Logan 12 pm – 5 pm 8 am – 8 pm 8 am – 5 pm
Mt Gravatt 8 am – 9 pm 12 pm – 5 pm 8 am – 6 pm
Nathan 7 am – 12 am 10 am – 5 pm 7 am – 12 am
Queensland College of Art 8 am – 8 pm 9 am – 1 pm 8 am – 5 pm
QCGU 8 am – 8 pm 1 pm – 5 pm 8 am – 5 pm

Hackathon 2018 a success!

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Last weekend, 4 – 5 August, we held our annual Hackathon.

Students arrived at 9 am and settled in to design, develop and showcase a mobile app.

Working in groups, our students hacked away for 30 hours. Some went home for a quick nap and shower, some rested on beanbags, others grew massive wings from copious amounts of Red Bull.

We had IT Architects on hand, to provide guidance and help with any curly questions. And food, of course, to keep their brains fuelled.

By Sunday afternoon, our student groups had come up with some stellar ideas with options that could be implemented into the Griffith University app or future app design, and showcased these to the crowd.

Our winners were the GPAMATE team: Codie Little, Rusty Blewitt, Ryan Taylor and Shayne Poole.

The GPAMATE team began as two separate groups, but when some members didn’t show they combined their forces together to create a power group.

Their app idea was based on eliminating the anxiety that comes with uncertainty over subject grades, while giving students a direction with goals to be achieved.

The app they developed allows students to monitor their GPA throughout the trimester in two key ways:

  1. 1. Entering results from assessments will update a student’s GPA score in real time.
  2. 2. Based on the weight of an assessment item within a course, the app will predict the marks a student needs in order to maintain a certain GPA score.

The consensus around the room proved this idea is much needed and desired by the students. Who else loves this app idea and can’t wait to use it?

Second place went to Group #5: Samuel Bruhn, Joshua Nicholl, Carl Humphries and Harrison Croakes. Best User Interface (UI) went to Group #1 – Uni Connect: Hannah Bryce, Michelle Beattie and Zihao Huang.

Head to our Library Facebook album for more photos from the event.

We’d like to thank our sponsors Red Bull, Microsoft, Grove Juice and Home Fresh Organics, for helping keep our students fed, hydrated, awake and engaged during the event!