How to Write a Critical Thinking Essay in Astronomy: Make Planets Spin in Your Favor

Writing guide
Posted on June 23, 2020

It would seem, how can one think critically within the framework of such an object as astronomy? Stars shine in the sky, planets move in their axes, universes move from the moment of origin to infinity, and you are an ordinary student who was given the task of writing a critical essay on astronomy. However, everything is not as complicated as it seems. In this article, we will teach you to think critically even in relation to astronomical phenomena, plus we will show you how to write your critical essay on astronomy correctly, observing all the canons of the academic style, without losing the logic of your thoughts and coming to the right conclusions.

Let’s Start with the Object of Your Study

So, what can be criticized in astronomy when all things in the universe take their course? In fact, astronomy provides endless scope for exploration.

Firstly, this is one of the oldest sciences that our ancestors studied at the dawn of civilization. And here is the first object for criticism. For example, you can choose the astronomical teachings of Ancient Egypt (or any other civilization of your choice) and begin your analysis.

Secondly, astronomy in some part is connected with other sciences. For example, with astrology, psychology, and even healthcare. How is it shown? Everything is very simple. If you want to choose a subject for research that is on the verge between astronomy and astrology, then horoscopes and zodiac signs are an ideal object for criticism. It’s just an unplowed field for research since scientists to this day have not come to a single thought about the veracity of horoscopes, and the characteristics of people born under different zodiac signs are also under scientific doubt.

In addition, there are theories that try to prove the relationship of men and women with certain planets. And if we talk about the science of health, then there is also room for criticism. For example, there is an opinion that a certain position of the planets will affect the health status of all mankind, both for the worse and for the better, reduce or increase our productivity and even open up new opportunities for self-development. Yes, this may not sound too scientific, but that’s exactly what you need.

And if you want to complete a difficult task, then choose theories that are scientifically sound. It is much harder to criticize and analyze them when there are no gaps in scientific knowledge.

Go to the Topic Selection

So, if you received your topic from a professor, then this is already pretty good. At the very least, you don’t have to spend time independently searching for a suitable topic. But if you were given the freedom of choice, then this is also a two-edged sword. On the one hand, you have the right to choose the most interesting or even ambiguous direction, and on the other hand, you will have to take responsibility for the scientific justification and criticism of your topic.

Be that as it may, none of the other options will prevent you from dealing with a critical essay on astronomy well. Let’s move on together, and below we give a shortlist of topics with which you can start your research.

  • Elon Musk and His Space Exploration – Genius Or Madman?
  • The Movement of Stars as Evidence of The Development of The Universe;
  • Global Problems of The Development of Human Civilization in Outer Space;
  • Environmentally Friendly Ultralight Devices for Environmental Monitoring;
  • Space Debris as a Source Of Near-earth Clogging;
  • Research into Evidence for the Expansion of the Universe Based on Existing Scientific Theories.

Plus, you can use the ideas that we described when explaining the subject of research in your critical essay on astronomy.

What Sources to Use to Reinforce Your Thesis

Now let’s move on to an analysis of our sources. Practice says that in the case of a critical essay you need to rely on scientific articles exclusively. It is these materials that will allow you to get a complete picture, study the theory that you will analyze and criticize, look at things from different angles, and find the strengths and weaknesses in the theory that you criticize. Therefore, let’s move on to practical actions.

  1. Step One. Find several scientific articles that explain, criticize, and analyze the theory of which is the subject of your essay on astronomy. Pay attention to the date of publication. As a rule, a professor needs all your resources to be as new as possible, but sometimes this requirement is formal. For example, if you study astronomical theories of the times of Ancient Egypt, then you can be sure that in Ancient Egypt itself nothing has changed and cannot change. Therefore, in general, all scientific articles on this topic are suitable for you. However, pay attention to the fact that even if Egyptian civilization has remained in the past, scientific research continues to move forward, so try to use a whole range of materials – both all available research and the latest studies. There you can find valuable insights that really shed light on the theory that you analyze and criticize.
  2. Step Two. Begin your review of the article. The first time you can read it fluently but still try to catch the point. For the second time, read the article more carefully and immediately, as you read, write down the main thoughts of the author.
  3. Step Three. Make yourself a brief outline of each article according to the following plan: The author’s thought – His proof – His conclusion. Find three to five key thoughts and evidence in each of your articles and write this down for yourself.

Now it may seem to you that this is all too complicated and time-consuming, but believe it – practice says that the more carefully you examine the sources, the better the evidence base you have collected, the easier it will be for you to cope with the main part of the work, that is, with writing. In fact, source analysis is even more important than the paper itself. And as soon as you analyze all your scientific materials, you will immediately feel that you are already very close to the goal.

The Main Goal of Your Essay

However, let’s not forget about our main task – critical thinking. Now that you have analyzed the materials and written down the arguments of several authors who have explored your theory, it’s time to start thinking critically. Let’s go back to our synopsis and try to find the strongest and weakest points in the author’s argument. At this stage, do not be afraid to think critically, do not take all the words of other scientists at face value – it is possible to find strengths and weaknesses in any theory if you turn on your inner critic and try to imagine a complete picture.
Now you have a list of the strengths and weaknesses of your theory from the perspective of various scientists. And this means that you are ready to move on to writing the text of your paper.

Let’s Record the Results of Your Analysis

The critical essay on astronomy has a standard structure, which is familiar to you from the very first day in college. We are sure that you will have no difficulties here.

  • Introduction and thesis. We recommend skipping this point for now. It is much easier to write an introduction when you have the main part. And we will say even more – sometimes it’s even more efficient to write down all your thoughts in the main part, polish them, and only then develop a thesis statement based on them. In any case, in the introduction, you need to briefly talk about the essence of your topic, its applicability in modern science and end this paragraph with a thesis. And in order to develop a thesis, simply add all your thoughts into one.
  • Main part. Here you need to logically move from one point to another. We recommend starting with the strengths of the concept or theory that you criticize. Highlight three paragraphs for strengths. Each paragraph should contain a mini-thesis on why this side of the theory is strong, plus scientific evidence, plus your personal conclusion. You need to follow this pattern when you describe weaknesses as well.
  • Conclusions. This is quite a crucial part in this case since you have to summarize several thoughts at once. A simple way is to do the usual summation and briefly say first about the strengths, and then the weak sides. A more intransitive approach is to end your essay by contrasting strengths and weaknesses – it will sound more solid and show that your criticism is objective, comprehensive and thorough.

Let’s Get the Perfect Result

So, it would seem that everything is ready. However, there are still a few simple steps that you need to do to be completely sure that your essay is perfect.

Go Back to Teacher’s Requirements

Now that you have the text in your hands, you need to be convinced once again that your teacher will like it in terms of his personal requirements. Most likely, he told you what points will be checked with special care, or asked to pay attention to any small thing, for example, font size, indentation or just asked you to write the work by hand.

Check If Anything Has Changed in the Academic Formatting Style You Use

To do this, go to the official website of the style, open an example of work in this style and once again make sure that the design of your work meets all the necessary requirements. Pay special attention to submitting quotes, because if you forget to indicate the author of the statement, it will be considered plagiarism, and this is a very serious academic violation. And by the way, since we have already talked about plagiarism, be sure to check your work and improve the originality indicator, if necessary. Although, if you wrote your work yourself and correctly designed all the citations, then this check will be nothing more than a formality.

Logic Check

If you followed the structure, then most likely all parts of your essay are in place. Now make sure your thought flow is logical and you have smooth transitions between phrases and paragraphs. Writing in this way on the first try is a special skill, so do not be upset if you have to correct this moment. The main thing is that you noticed this shortcoming in time and now you can turn your essay into a smooth flow of logical and meaningful thoughts.

Check for Reasonable Criticism

Reasonable criticism is when you argue your words. The phrases ‘I like’ or ‘I don’t like’ are not suitable here. As we have said, each of your critical statements must be supported by a strong explanation and proof with reference to other scientists who share this opinion.

Check Your Style

We recommend using short but meaningful sentences whenever possible. Too long thoughts make the reader constantly return to the beginning of the line so as not to lose the essence. Once again, review the length of your sentences and try to turn the longest into shorter but more capacious statements. Just do not do this with quotations – they should be kept in their original form.

Check for Grammar Errors, Punctuation, and Typos

In the 21st century, you can allow yourself not to do it manually, but simply add your text to Grammarly or any other service. By the way, returning to the previous paragraph, since we have already talked about services that can help you, you can check the readability of your text using the Hemingway app.

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