Critical thinking: Business, Economics, Politics and Sports

There are several methods for using context to figure out what words mean. Usually, the author provides several words or statements that give clues to the word’s meaning. In the following example, examine the appropriate meaning of the word mobile:

One of the main targets for preventive medicine today must be to keep old people mobile.

 A a telephone that you can carry with you - mobile phone
 B able to move easily from one job or social class to another
 C a decoration made of small objects
 D able to move or be moved quickly and easily

Substituting synonyms and rearranging the sentence structure will also help you gain a precise understanding of new information and ideas. To paraphrase the following sentence, for example, you might replace the original words with others of the same meaning.

Eighty-seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

First, replacing synonyms may lead to this initial draft:

Eighty-seven years before today, our political and spiritual ancestors created in North America a country that did not exist before, thought of in freedom and devoted to establishing the principle that all people are born with the same rights.

Restructuring the sentence might lead to a more total paraphrase. 

Our political and spiritual ancestors were thinking of how to make freedom a reality when, eighty-seven years before today, they created a country that did not previously exist. Their creation was devoted to establishing the principle that all people are born with the same rights. 

Paying attention to analogies also helps to increase your vocabulary and your ability to figure out the relationships between ideas. Given the following pairs words, observe their relationship, then analyse the option with the same relationship.

orchestra : music
vault : money
hand : fingers
farm : trees
ecosystem : insect 
bottle : can
knob : radio
scale : height
gram : weight
juice : vitamin