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Chapter 21. In the Hot Seat: Writing Und... > What's the Big Idea? - Pg. 239

In the Hot Seat: Writing Under Pressure 239 Analyzing, evaluating, and synthesizing are all examples of "critical thinking," along with hypothesizing, pre- dicting, inferring, drawing conclusions, and classifying. Critical thinking is the ability to solve problems; be flexible, creative, and original; capture and transmit knowledge, and express views and feelings appropriately. Effective critical thinkers use many of these skills simultaneously, and not in any prescribed order. In general, however, the hierarchy moves from recognizing, recalling, distinguishing, and classifying, up the ladder to sequencing, visualizing, predicting, drawing conclusions, inferring, evaluating, analyzing, and synthesizing. If the Assignment Asks You to Recall ... The pressure writing assignment changes dramatically depending on whether you're allowed to refer to your text and notes or not. Open-book tests are not likely to be recall tests, for instance, because it would be pretty silly to ask you to recall information if the book was sitting open in front of you. Open-book tests, in contrast, always call for higher-order thinking skills. This means that the teacher isn't generally doing you any favor with an open-book test. At the very least, every closed-book test will ask you to remember information. How can you tell if the essay focuses on recall? Write Angles