On this blog we’re always keen to recommend useful information to guide students onto better study, and these links about critical thinking from Plymouth and Oxford Brookes universities offer some useful advice. I found Plymouth’s insightful because their description / explanation / analysis formula could be applied in order to construct paragraphs, determining a particular topic. I also appreciated an Oxford Brookes student being evaluated on finding different sources of information such as Wikipedia (‘anyone can contribute to Wikipedia – so the site is not an authoritative source of information’), stressing the need to track down original sources (re: newspapers, esp. tabloids), whilst acknowledging the relevance of using peer-reviewed articles and authoritative government research. Oxford Brookes’ analysis of a good student assignment illustrates effective practice in actually using research to its best effect, in terms of objectively weighing the evidence, deploying a questioning / sceptical approach, as well as noting informed conclusions, potential solutions,and identifying areas of future research. Such advice is reassuring ground for optimism for any scholar wishing to breathe new life into critical thinking.