Throughout history, people with creative minds have created original ideas which have been useful in the fields of music, art, technology, medicine, and science. Most of these ideas were once branded as impossible and ridiculous, but as of today, their thinkers are considered to as individuals who achieved enormous breakthroughs which helped the world advance (Coon, 2006). Usually, problem-solving is done through mechanical and insightful means which are based on understanding; this kind of problem solving involves either deductive or inductive thinking in order to achieve solutions.
Apart from these, problem-solving may also be done logically (based on previous information or rules) or illogically (based on intuition or personal associations and perceptions). However, such is not the way of creative thinking—creative thinking involves all of these different thinking styles, “plus fluency, flexibility, and originality” (Coon, 2006, p. 360). Fluency can be defined as the number of ideas or suggestions that an individual is able to make for a particular problem. Flexibility, on the other hand can be defined as the number of times an individual shifts from one class or type of possible ideas to another.
As for originality, it is pertains to “how novel or unusual [the] ideas are” (Coon, 2006, p. 360). These can determine an individual’s creativity or his capacity for divergent thinking. Creative thinking or divergent thinking means thinking out of the box and developing possibilities. Usually, people tend to solve problems with tried solutions, but with creative thinking, individuals produce new and different ideas or answers in order to solve problems (Coon, 2006). Creative thinking is often seen in poems, essays, constructed objects, and drawings (Coon, 2006)—however, it can also be seen in everyday life.
In fact, creative thinking can come in various forms, one example of creative thinking would be the ever-changing ideas when it comes to the automobile industry. Manufacturers are always developing new features and improving them based on the old ideas, thus, achieving innovation (Harris, 1998). Another example of creative thinking could involve combining two different ideas in order to come up with a new one which is more effective than the separate ideas, like introducing a dinner theater.
Since a lot of people usually go on dates by going to dinner, then watching a film, perhaps, it would be creative to fuse these two concepts together to create a much more efficient one where people can eat dinner and attain entertainment at the same time (Harris, 1998). Critical thinking, on the other hand, is an entirely different concept from creative thinking. According to Austin Cline (2010), critical thinking involves developing a form of intellectual and emotional distance between one’s self and one’s ideas in order to be able to evaluate the validity, reasonableness, and truth of such ideas.
If an individual engages in critical thinking, he should develop rational and reliable evaluations as to what is rational and logical. This simply means that if one engages in critical thinking, one must value skepticism, and engage in a search for the appropriate solution to problems. Critical thinking also involves open-mindedness, differentiating emotion from reason, arguing with the use of knowledge, being skeptical about probabilities, avoiding linguistic misunderstandings, avoid common fallacies, and most important, avoiding the temptation to jump to conclusions.
An example of critical thinking would be carefully assessing situations in order to find the appropriate actions required; a critical thinker, if perhaps stuck in a situation wherein he is faced with numerous tasks at work, plus the obligation to attend his child’s softball game, would carefully evaluate the tasks at hand, produce a schedule by prioritizing and weighing risks and advantages in order to achieve all goals (Jackson, Ignatavivius, Case, ).
Another example would be if an individual is part of a jury, and is listening to the witnesses and the defendant’s accounts of a murder; if the individual engages in critical thinking, then it follows that he should not readily believe either accounts just by taking their word for it. Perhaps the lawyer might call a witness which happens to be the child of the murdered person, and if the individual engages in critical thinking, he must not be swayed by the emotions which are shown by those in the stand, and should be critical in analyzing the facts which are presented in the case.
Creative and Critical Thinking Using a Common Example Take for example the phrase speed kills; a lot of people have a general idea about this phrase, that which consists of the fact that it is related to motorists, stating that if they over-speed, they could get into an accident and be killed.
If one is to use creative thinking in this particular phrase, the result would often involve creating new means to improve the campaign against over-speeding. Creative thinkers are often finding new means to look at things, as well as different means to present such things; therefore, these ideas would then be utilized into the development of a new, effective means to strengthen the campaign against over-speeding.
Since creative thinking is all about finding new and different ideas in order to find solutions for different problems,which, in this case, is the supposed problem regarding over-speeding, which, presumably, can kill an individual if he gets in an accident, the creative thinker would perhaps develop innovative means of educating people about this particular statement, such as developing an integration off billboard advertising and traffic warnings.
However, if one is to use critical thinking in this phrase, the result would be different. To a critical thinker, it is not possible to just agree with what the phrase implies and just accept it as it is. It is necessary to analyze what it means and analyze as to whether this assumption is valid. A critical thinker would then look into the scientific proof stating that speed, indeed, kills. Apart from this, the critical thinker would look into statistics, and derive from those statistics as to how reliable this particular statement is.
While the critical thinker is not aiming to disprove the phrase which states speed kills, what he would be doing involves strengthen it with reliable sources in order to achieve a conclusion that the phrase speed kills is indeed valid and motorists everywhere should heed its implied advice. It is, of course, necessary to state that if the critical thinker does not find the phrase as valid and reliable, the phrase would then be rendered illogical and irrelevant.
Summary As seen in the previous discussion, creative and critical thinking differ in many ways. However, while it cannot be denied that both have their differences when it comes to approaching problems, it must be understand that both have their merits and advantages. It is necessary to understand that neither can be considered better when it comes to finding solutions for life’s everyday problems.
Instead, an integration of these thinking styles would be far more beneficial, for not all situations call for either creative or critical thinking only. There are those which call for creative thinking, and there are those which call for critical thinking. It is, therefore, necessary to familiarize one’s self with both styles, for being able to adapt one’s thinking style is essential to effective decision-making processes.
Example of a Definition essay on Social issues about:
creative thinking / active reading / effective writing / skill / time-management
The definition and the role of creative thinking, active reading and effective writing in the life of people.
How is creative thinking defined? How is creative thinking different from stereotype thinking? What are the benefits of active reading? How does effective writing helps people in their everyday life?
Creative thinking is something that always provides “room for improvement”; creative thinking is the true essence of problem solving, which is so vital in the lives of contemporary people and in the business world.
Creative thinking, active reading and effective writing essay
Table of contents:
1. Definitions of creative thinking, active reading and effective writing.
2. Benefits of each skill.
Introduction: Definitions of creative thinking, active reading and effective writing. One of the peculiarities of a human brain that has not been reproduced by the computers is creative thinking. The term “creativity” has not been clearly defined yet. However the majority of people understand creativity as the ability to see things in a new and unusual way and find new unique solutions for different problems. Creative thinking is a complete opposition to the stereotyped thinking, which is characterized by the insufficiency of choices while searching possible solutions and by the tendency to approach different problems the same way without any innovations. Creativity converts the process of thinking into a fascinating process and helps to find new ways out of old problems. Nevertheless, creative thinking should not by any means be connected to the intellect of a person1. Creative thinking is usually represented by creative insights. According to Robert Harris ”many creative breakthroughs occur when attention is shifted from one angle of a problem to another. This is sometimes called creative insight”. Creative thinking is something that always provides “room for improvement”; creative thinking is the true essence of problem solving, which is so vital in the lives of contemporary people and in the business world.
Creative thinking is also associated with active reading. Active reading is several steps higher than ordinary reading. This is primarily due to the fact that active reading converts an ordinary reader into an active thinking learner and prevents a person from automatically going through pages without understanding anything. Active reading required active thinking and active thinking is a premise of creative thinking. Basically saying what active reading does it helps people to “focus their attention and think about interpretations and interrelations” of the text they have just read . Active reading requires constant training through learning the contents of the books. What it does it forms a strong base for the coordinated work of the processes of analysis, synthesis and evaluation. Reading and writing have always been strongly linked to each other. So, as the active reading appeared in order to make the best out of the process of reading – effective writing appeared to make the best out of the process of writing. Effective writing is a combination of writing skills used in order to achieve certain goals. Effective writing includes different kinds of papers such as all types of proposals, reports, letters, emails, memos and many others. Effective writing works for the development of an ability to be convincing even in written form. Owing to effective writing a person is able to find a personal style of writing which will the most acceptable and productive for him. Being successful in effective writing means to know the appropriate tone for each existing kind of communications and eliminated everything unnecessary from the writing products. Effective writing may be also viewed as the result or a consequence of active reading as active reading renews the vocabulary and teaches appropriate tones of communications. Therefore, both, active reading and effective writing are phenomena that develop creative thinking. 2. Benefits of each skill. Each of the mentioned above skills and all of them together do bring certain benefits for their “owners”. It goes without saying that creative thinking helps to find extraordinary solutions of ordinary problems. One of the major benefits of creative thinking is that is completely contradicts the standard critical thinking. As new creative ideas always seem weird to the people around a person with creative thinking will be more socially independent and will have a higher self-esteem. Creative thinking is also the key to release from numerous existing solutions-stereotypes and cultural traditions, creating something completely qualitatively new. Creative thinking decreases the person’s anxiety level, due to the fact that it always finds explanations to all the unknown and strange things it faces. Therefore, a person psychologically becomes more confident. Creative thinking constantly brainstorms the mind, which generates new ideas. Among the most important qualities of creative thinking Robert Harris outline major ones: generative, looks for new possibilities, makes a suspended judgment change, is subjective but always has an answer, develops the right brain, works through visualizations and associations producing novelty . Creative thinking also goes through certain analytical stages, which altogether produce the desired final unique solution2.
Active reading also brings significant benefits for its “possessor”. For instance, the notes that are required to be taken while actively reading keep up the person’s concentration and understanding of the information flow, creating a systematic system of knowledge. Active reading and its tips such as underlining and highlighting, noting key words, noting down questions to the text and making final summaries, converts the process of simple reading into the process of learning which is the synonym of active reading. Active reading trains the memory and the ability to create strong intellectual connections between the information that is being perceived. Active reading teaches a person to pick exactly what he needs to know without stopping at unnecessary details in a rather short period of time. Therefore, active reading may be also viewed as a time management technique. It sets the knowledge priorities and helps the reader to obtain the needed information in the most productive possible way.
Effective writing as it has been mentioned before helps to find a definite style for the writer. Nevertheless, it far not the only benefit effective writing brings. It goes without saying that effective writing implies the improvement of knowledge in capitalization, spelling, grammar, punctuation, abbreviation, and others. The other prominent ones are the following: helps to sell ideas, eliminated jargon, eliminated unneeded phrases or sentences which do not reflect and affect the potential result . Effective writing helps to make the final writing “visually appealing” to the respondent. Similar to active reading, effective writing is very helpful in the improvement of the ability to set goals and to achieve exactly the needed result and no other. The writer will benefit from knowing how to set a topic, a thesis and the format of a given paper. Both active reading and effective writing are designed to make a person successful creating creative thinkers.
Each skill is a subject to definite challenges that a person trying to learn them may experience. As the best way to analyze the challenges is by providing vivid examples, the author ventures to provide his humble opinion on the topic. It is common knowledge that people in their majority lack assiduousness and persistence when it comes to making something until the end. They seek for fast-relievers. Achieving success in the fields of active reading, effective writing and therefore creative thinking do offer certain challenges that need to be discussed.
Creative thinking requires constant work of imagination and therefore the full-usage of the resources of the brain; creative activity requires hard work. It is very hard to turn off the critical thinking with all its convergent, reasoning and judgment-based nature. Creative thinking is visualization and not words, nevertheless each person is so used to speaking that it is hard just to “imagine” .As this is the primary condition under which creative thinking will start working the author considers it to be the biggest problem he faced while trying to think creatively. Another hard thing in creative thinking is to understand that every single problem has not just a solution but also several possible ways out any situation. The author considers that in order to develop the willingness to create and find new ways the person needs to practice through making himself do the things that he has always done one way – another innovative and creative way. Of course it is hard to forget about the personality types, because it will be much easier for a person with an external type to develop creative thinking owing to their openness to the world around and their ability to perceive and combine the information obtained from it. An internal person would be more critical and therefore have fewer opportunities to add creativity to his everyday life.
Active reading and effective writing require persistence but the speed of their assimilation in the mind of a person completely depends of the individual peculiarities of the person. For instance, the author of the paper needs immediate results in order to stimulate himself for further work. Disorganized people desperately need to learn how to manage their time and to get results rather quickly. So active reading and effective writing are designed to help such people to learn how to manage their time and be successful at home and especially at work. The major difficulties with creative thinking, active reading, and effective writing are that they need constant training. It is very important not to stop. The writer had a similar problem and coped with it through reading books and working on the material that he considered to be highly interesting.
For instance, in order to develop creative thinking he used the technique of “playing put” a problem in person or drawing its scheme, in order to create a demonstrative presentation of the problem. The author also tried the technique of talking aloud with himself offering different solutions from the sides of different imaginary personages.
So, the main way to overcome the challenges of creative thinking is to consciously apply efforts to show originality and bring forth new ideas. Active reading and effective writing are the matter of persistence and constant repetition.
Each of the listed above skills is a guaranteed time-management tool. All three of them are easily applied in everyday life both in personal and professional spheres. The best part that can be taken from all these skills is that they create the base for a hyper-successful career for any person who is able to apply sufficient efforts in order to improve. Creative thinking, active reading and effective writing are the skills that take people away from the banal and boring ideas, away from the standard look at things and lead towards original solutions. Creativity is the quality that is represented I each of these skills and it is creativity that makes the process of thinking fascinating!
Conclusion: This skills can be helpful I personal life. For instance the family does not have enough income to buy that fancy furniture they saw in the store yesterday. If they posses creative thinking they can make the best out of their old furniture: they can paint it, draw something on it, change it is some other way. Another example that may be given is the way the dishes are cooked in the house. If they are made only according to the recipe it is very hard to talk about anything like creative thinking, but if the family conducts experiments with their food, trying to “invent” a new dish – that is a bright sign of creativity. Active reading and effective writing can be helpful, too. Some people have lots of books in the house, but when you start asking them what was in this or that book they fail to answer clearly, knowing the strategies of active reading would have made the answers of these people more clear and intelligent. The same thing with effective writing which in personal life can be used in order to write different petitions, invitations or personal letters. There is no wander that some invitations are made so bad that the guest might even not come. These «domestic» applications of these three skills may create a wonderful base for personal happiness.
Their application in the sphere of professional growth would be irreplaceable. Creative thinkers have always been the most valued workers on any enterprise. A person with a non-standard approach to everything makes a difference for any form and especially for those that deal with advertising goods. A person that can read and what is more important – can understand books connected with his professions may become the best choice for the next appointment of the authorities. Effective writing gin its turn may convert an ordinary employee into a true psychologist that can always achieve the result he wants.