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Critical Thinking Skills For Dummies by Martin Cohen

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Chapter 7

Drawing on Graphical (and Other) Tools for Thinking

In This Chapter

arrow Mapping ideas with charts

arrow Seeing graphical tools in action

arrow Discovering powerful tools for thinking

Reason makes things which are hard to define, difficult to comprehend.

Pete Smee (UK professor)

It's lucky that there are more ways to try to understand things than by using reason alone. The human mind is actually very good at grasping complex relationships expressed in pictures and diagrams, for example. But how do you get an issue usually addressed in words and sentences to become one expressed graphically? This chapter is about how to do exactly that — and draw upon maybe unsuspected powers lurking within you!

Mind maps and other kinds of concept charts extract ideas from your head and turn them into something visible and structured. Sounds good, right? Well, they are, but here's the catch: although you can dash off the simplest charts fairly effortlessly, the more useful ones require a lot of thinking. Not only that, they require a lot of different kinds of thinking. Hence the huge difference between a good chart, a useful chart and a bad one that sheds no light at all.

In this chapter, you not only ...

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