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Critical Analysis and Conceptual Understanding

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As a college student, you are engaged not only in increasing your personal stores of knowledge but also in expanding both the domain (conceptual breadth) and structures (analyses) of humanity’s understanding of our world. 

Advantages of Conceptual Understanding and Critical Analysis

When you become adept at analyzing, processing, and combining concepts and develop the academic language needed to describe these intellectual activities you will be able to demonstrate and share your own original thinking with peers and academic mentors. 

Keys to Conceptual Understanding and Critical Analysis

The keys to developing these skills are the awareness and the practice of addressing reflective questions such as:

  • Have I learned something brand new and how can I connect what I have learned to what I already know?
  • How do I know that what I think I have learned is in fact true?
  • Does my “discovery” or conclusion constitute new knowledge that I can explain to someone else?


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