You can apply the critical thinking approach in your reading for researching and studying by asking questions. Strategic questions are helpful because they enable you to develop a more critical approach to your studies and aid you in analysing what you read. To formulate such strategic questions, you should be inquisitive about what are the important details regarding the materials you read.
Strategic questions are:
Where? What? How? Who? When? And why?
Nevertheless, they are only guide questions and you need to expound them:
(Six Questions to Trigger Critical Thinking – Aveyard, Sharp & Woolliams 2011; adapted from Woolliams et al 2009)
Right from the start of your reading in your research, you should record your references. Make notes and record the source of everything you write down so that you can easily refer back to such materials when you write the draft of your essay. They are also the reference citations you will use in the final draft of your essay to support your points and readers where they can verify them.
Asking strategic questions for critical thinking when you read, study, research and write essays will help you better learn and perform. You will be better at evaluating or appraising reports, articles and other materials because you are doing it in a more thoughtful and balanced manner.