Step 1: Knowledge
In terms of critical thinking, the basic level of acquisition of knowledge requires that you be able to identify what is being said: the topic, the issue, the thesis, and the main points.
Step 2: Comprehension
Comprehension means understanding the material read, heard or seen. In comprehending, you make the new knowledge that you have acquired your own by relating it to what you already know. The better you are involved with the information, the better you will comprehend it. As always, the primary test of whether you have comprehended something is whether you can put what you have read or heard into your own words. Review some key words that help you identify when comprehension is called for. Remember that comprehending something implies that you can go beyond merely parroting the material back but instead that you can give the material your own significance.Step 3: Application
Application requires that you know what you have read, heard, or seen, that you comprehend it, and that you carry out some task to apply what you comprehend to an actual situation. Review the some tasks that require application.Step 4: Analysis
Analysis involves breaking what you read or hear into its component parts, in order to make clear how the ideas are ordered, related, or connected to other ideas. Analysis deals with both form and content. Review how critical thinkers analyze form. Review how critical thinkers analyze content.Step 5: Synthesis
Synthesis involves the ability to put together the parts you analyzed with other information to create something original. Review some key words that help you identify when synthesis is called for.Step 6: Evaluation
Evaluation occurs once we have understood and analyzed what is said or written and the reasons offered to support it. Then we can appraise this information in order to decide whether you can give or withhold belief, and whether or not to take a particular action. Review some key words that help you identify when synthesis is called for. Never put evaluation ahead of the other steps in critical thinking steps; otherwise, you will be guilty of a "rush to judgement." When emotion substitutes for reasons, evaluation incorrectly precedes analysis.