A Mentored Critical Thinking and Writing Exercise in a Dental School Curriculum

Publication ID Published Volume
9224 August 21, 2012 8


This module, which extends over three quarters, was created to help students learn to develop a problem statement, question, or hypothesis; perform an increasingly sophisticated search of peer reviewed literature; read and critically assess information and evidence; formulate some conclusions about the information they discover; and write a short, original referenced paper of 1500-2500 words describing their findings.

The educational significance of this student exercise is the one on one faculty mentoring that is built into the assignment. Mentors model evidenced based decision making: ability to search peer-reviewed literature, determine quality of evidence, and utilize this information in the decision making process.


Hoover T, Fendler F, Lyon L. A mentored critical thinking and writing exercise in a dental school curriculum. MedEdPORTAL Publications. 2012;8:9224. http://doi.org/10.15766/mep_2374-8265.9224

Educational Objectives

  1. Expand ability to search peer reviewed literature.
  2. Read and critically assess scientific literature.
  3. Formulate evidence based conclusions.
  4. Communicate and reference these analyses properly.


  • Literature Review, Critical Thinking, Evidence, Faculty Mentorship, Assessment Rubric, Scientific Search, Peer Reviewed Literature Search


  1. American Dental Education Association (2008). Competencies for the new general dentist. Retrieved September 4, 2010 from: http://www.adea.org/about_adea/governance/Pages/CompetencesfortheNewGeneralDentist.aspx.
  2. Hoover, T. E., Lyon, L. J. (2011), Collateral opportunity for increased faculty collaboration and development through a mentored critical thinking and writing exercise in a dental school curriculum, Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, Vol. 11, No. 2, April 2011, pp. 52-63.

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ISSN 2374-8265