Mental Makeover 1 : Thinking Like Cats and Writing Like Dogs

By Shane Watson
In Academic
Jun 23rd, 2009
9 Comments
273 Views

critical-thinking-writing-analytical2

Critical Thinking and Analytical Writing

Critical thinking and analytical writing are two sides of the same coin. When you are asked to write down an analysis or logical explanation for something, you are actually being told to think critically. But, what is it about critical thinking that scares the hell out of students during their college years?

One plausible answer: “they do not know how to think critically.”

But this is not believable since every day in our lives we are “checking out”, “making decisions”, “taking action”, and “thinking over things”.

‘Do these not account for critical thinking?’

‘Of course they do.’

‘Then where does the Catch 22 lie?’

Critical Thinking and Analytical Writing: Problems Associated

The catch lies in those snobbish grey cells that refuse to budge when ASKED to think critically and then take action (i.e. churning out an analytical piece of writing in this case). We never want to be instructed or dictated when it comes to THINKING.

Whether you are an ideal optimist, a freaky pessimist, or a stuck up snob, you would never want to switch lanes, especially when it particularly refers to one’s mental alignment. But, when it is about attending to a project with your grades dangling at the other end, one has to go for a bit of mental makeover.

Everyone knows how to think, but it is the focused approach to get out PARTICULAR RESULTS, that is often a little amiss. And this is what we will be discussing here.

Critical Thinking: The Cat Approach

Ever wondered how would have cats scored in writing prompts, had been given the chance?

Though I never happened to interview one, but if you have been living with cats for about two decades, then one tends to make a few observations.

In my opinion, they would have grabbed straight A’s in critical thinking and analytical writing.

The reason is very simple.

Cats tend to observe but more than observation they CALCULATE. They test waters, makes decisions and takes actions, not on gut instincts, but on the principle of scrutiny. The scrutinization of a cat rests on consideration, evaluation and assessment. It screens out the situation, evaluates the pros and cons and then figures out a verdict.

Analytical Writing: The Dog Approach

What about the dogs. How would have they scored?

They would have definitely screwed up badly on their score sheets for critical analysis or defining angles. But a just appraisal would have credited them some solid marks for showing a bold approach and BARKING OUT the relevant bits and pieces.

Dogs do not think, they act on the spur. And that is exactly why; they need to be taken seriously whilst defining writing approaches.

Write ups have to be strategic so they do not lose the concentration of readers. But they also need to have personal passion showing through the lines to hook up a reader’s interest. Passion and creativity can never be planned or set up so you just have to bark it out.

The “dog approach” tends to be ferocious and rightly outward in its expressions. This gives a personal mark up and assertion to a draft that brings in notice and natural curiosity.

What We Learn About Critical Thinking and Analytical Writing

The best writing pieces are a combination of both tendencies: cat-thinking and dog-writing. A well-to-do piece of work necessarily includes a natural flow that never misses on important things. On the same end, the attention to detail is crafted in the write-up so naturally that a reader gets an embedded feel of immaculate brilliance.

There is always a faint hint of timidity when you are assembling data or material and are in the due process of evaluation. One is cautious and alert, not to miss on anything and to include all the necessary details. This is set off when you began shooting it down like a dog. You are not thinking anymore since that has been done and the materials reaped. Now you are passion-painting on a board with your pack of strategic colors.

So for a good write-up we take on our creative cells, set them to work, keep an eye on where-it-is-going and add and subtract necessities and extras respectively. You write like a dog but behind the scenes the scripting is done by the savvy cat and THIS is the secret to bring out the best in critical thinking and analytical writing projects.

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  • Ishnath Thakur

    Novel metaphors used for assessing the underlying instinct in creative writing approach.

  • http://summerwritingretreat.com Stephen Webber

    Yeah, useful distinction. It’s fun to have such an analogy drawn using these great metaphors (cat, dog).

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