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date: 01 December 2023

6. p. 131Clarity of communicationlocked

6. p. 131Clarity of communicationlocked



This chapter addresses how clarity of communication is simultaneously the most important and the least important of the three aims of critical thinking. There are two main ways to communicate your thinking: written and spoken. As there is no ‘formula’ for either of them, both require practice to improve over time. Written communication is most common in the form of essays which require an academic writing style: neither too simple nor too complex, and neither informal nor ultra-formal. Academic conventions vary between disciplines but, in general, you should use topic sentences at the beginning of each paragraph to achieve a narrative that flows, use consistent terms, avoid the first person, and avoid subheadings. Introductory and concluding paragraphs are most important in essay composition to ensure arguments are clearly communicated. In formal oral presentations, you need to focus on the audience hearing and understanding your argument. This includes paying attention to voice, pace, tone, audience connection, complexity, structure, and visual aids. Nerves can impact your ability to effectively communicate spoken arguments, so you should use specific tactics to minimize this impact.

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