PS: Political Science & Politics


Teaching Critical Analysis Skills with Analysis Briefs: What They are and How They Work

Yvette M.  Alex-Assensoh  a1 Ph.D. J.D.
a1 Indiana University–Bloomington

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Critical analysis, which is defined as the reasoned and logical process of skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information (Scriven and Paul 2001), is at the heart of the research process that propels our profession's knowledge-base forward. In this essay, I describe an effective method that I developed to help inculcate and hone students' critical analysis skills. Indeed, critical analysis skills are crucial foundational skills necessary for all students, especially those who intend to thrive successfully as researchers in our profession. a


a I am grateful to A.B. Assensoh, Joan Middendorf and the three anonymous reviewers, respectively, who offered helpful comments on earlier versions of this essay.