When the question is about critical thinking activities we mean creative thinking, analysing and evaluating of what you hear and read. If you want to become a real ace in critical thinking activities, you have to be able to find out whether the viewpoints of the author are false or true, whether she or he has succeeded in defending his/her ideas, whether the recommendations he/she has provided are practical, and whether all the solutions provided by the author may be useful.
In order to learn to think critically, you have to be fully aware of all the critical thinking steps that will help you to master critical thinking.
This is the first one among the critical thinking steps. First of all, you have to be able to categorize what is being said: the thesis, the idea, the topic, the issue and the key points.
This step includes understanding the material you have read, seen or heard. At this level you have to get a new knowledge by relating your own knowledge to what you have got from the new material. As a rule, the best indicator of whether you have mastered something is whether you are able to rephrase it using your own words.
This step means that you have to know what you have heard, read or seen. Moreover, application requires that you comprehend the information you had to deal with and you are able to apply what you have learnt in practice.
At this stage one should break what he has heard, read or seen into parts in order to make clear how all the ideas are related, ordered or linked to other ideas. This step (analysis) deals with content together with form.
Step # 5 requires you to be able to bring together the parts you have provided analysis for together with the other information in order to create something absolutely unique.
Once you have analysed and understood what you had seen, heard or read comes evaluation. Now you have an opportunity to appraise all the information in order to make a decision whether you can withhold or give belief, and whether you should take some particular action or not. It is highly important to make sure that you do not give preference to the evaluation step only forgetting about the other steps. Remember, you run the risk of drawing a hasty conclusion if emotions dominate over reasons.
And finally, never forget the fact that critical thinking will always help you take your studying to an absolutely new level for the reason that critical thinking is a great way to question, study and plan new ideas in order to draw your personal conclusions.