Journal of Education & Social Policy

ISSN 2375-0782 (Print) 2375-0790 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/jesp

Examining Critical and Analytic Thinking in Students’ Written Research Projects
Alex Simpande, Leonard Nkhata, Alfred Zulu, Henry Mvula

This study examined critical and analytic thinking in the writing of undergraduate students‟ research projects. A sample of 23 undergraduate projects was selected for examination. Content Analysis was used to examine the texts (research projects) in detail. A t-test and a two-way ANOVA was further conducted to examine the individual scripts and the six categories of critical and analytic thinking skills. Using the „discussion of findings‟ section of the research projects, the analysis addressed the critical and analytic skills of interpretation, analysis, evaluation, inference, explanation, and disposition. The analysis showed that students demonstrate the highest competency in inference and the lowest in disposition. There is no statistically significant difference in students‟ scores by programme of study and gender. The results highlight aspects of the teaching and acquisition of critical and analytic thinking and how texts portray authors‟ mastery of these skills.

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