Critical Thinking: The 5 W’s

Critical Thinking Ultimate Cheatsheet

Ask these questions whenever you discover or discuss new information!


  • Benefits from this?
  • Is this harmful to?
  • Makes decisions about this?
  • Is most directly affected?
  • Have you also heard discuss this?
  • Would be the best person to consult?
  • Will be the key people in this?
  • Deserves recognition for this?


  • Are the strengths/weaknesses?
  • Is another perspective?
  • Is another alternative?
  • Would be a counter-argument?
  • Is the best/worst case scenario?
  • Is most/least important?
  • Can we do to make a positive change?
  • Is getting in the way of our action?


  • Would we see this in the real world?
  • Are there similar concepts/situations?
  • Is there the most need for this?
  • In the world would this be a problem?
  • Can we get more information?
  • Do we go for help with this?
  • Will this idea take us?
  • Are the areas for improvement?


  • Is this acceptable/unacceptable?
  • Would this benefit our society?
  • Would this cause a problem?
  • Is the best time to take action?
  • Will we know we’ve succeeded?
  • Has this played a part in our history?
  • Can we expect this to change?
  • Should we ask for help with this?


  • Is this a problem/challenge?
  • Is it relevant to me/others?
  • Is this the best/worst case scenario?
  • Are people influenced by this?
  • Should people know about this?
  • Has it been this way for so long?
  • Have we allowed this to happen?
  • Is there a need for this today?


  • Is this similar to ___________ ?
  • Does this disrupt things?
  • Do we know the truth about this?
  • Will we approach this safely?
  • Does this benefit us/others?
  • Does this harm us/others?
  • Do we see this in the future?
  • Can we change this for our good?
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