Improving your critical thinking means becoming more aware of the arguments happening all around you all the time: political ads, commercials, tweets, discussions with friends and family, even arguments with yourself about personal decisions. You have to pay close attention to other people’s arguments in order to identify their claims and premises – especially when you disagree with them.
This means treating other people’s arguments like you want them to treat yours. In fact, if you think someone’s argument is weak, wrong, or offensive, the best way to change their mind is by first showing them that you understand exactly what they are saying.
One of the key guiding principles that great critical thinkers follow is called the Charity Principle. Watch this video to learn more about the “virtues” of a critical thinker.