Planning and Critical Thinking

What is the significance of planning and thinking in scholarly writing?
by Aminat Abubakar – Tuesday, 24 January 2017

The significance of planning as explained by Booth, Colomb, & William (2008, p. 5) “One helps them prepare and conduct their research; the second helps them draft their report of it.”  Planning helps the writer decides and concentrate on the topic to write on in order to capture the reader’s attention.  You want to be in control of what you are writing and not being all over the place. As a researcher “when you plan your argument early, you grasp your material better and avoid wasted effort, especially return trips to the library” (Booth, 2008, p. 108).

Booth (2008) noted that, a plan helps you recognize the element of your argument from a form that may seem coherent to you into one that will be both coherent and persuasive to your readers (p. 177).

While thinking helps with making inquiries towards search for answers, the search will guide the plan of action in writing the research.  In thinking, the writer has to ask such question as explained by Zinsser “In what capacity am I going to address the reader?…“How much do I want to cover?”  “What one point do I want to make?”  (2016, pp. 51-52).  Jan Archer stated in an article (Critical Thinking Skills Necessary in Writing) “As a writer, when you use critical thinking, you enable yourself to create new knowledge rather than simply reporting on what already exists.”  She went further to explain that, “At the very root of critical thinking are questions.  You must have a truth you want to search for in order to set out on a path of purposeful thinking and writing.”
Planning and thinking are important components for a successful scholarly writing.

Critical Thinking Skills


  1. Archer, J. Critical Thinking Skills Necessary in Writing.  Retrieved from
  2. Booth, W. C., Colomb, G. G., & Williams, J. M. (2008). The craft of research (3rd ed.). Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press. ISBN: 860-1400125373.  Chapters 7-10, 12-13
  3. Sotir, D. (2014, December 7). Critical Thinking Skills [Video file]. Retrieved from
  4. Zinsser, W. (2006). On writing well: The classic guide to writing nonfiction (7th ed.). New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers. ISBN: 978-1595555038. Chapters 6-10, 20-23 & 25
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