Critical Thinking for Strategic Analysis is organized around twenty key questions that all analysts should ask as they prepare to conduct research, draft papers, and present their analysis. We divided the twenty questions into four groups, focusing on the four stages of generating an analytic product:
1. How do I get started?
2. Where is the information I need?
3. What is my argument?
4. How do I convey my message most effectively?
We have long contended that the best way to learn is by doing. In writing this book, we choose to practice what we preach by including a set of case studies that the reader can use to reinforce understanding of the key points in the book. The case studies focus on a wide range of topics, covering political, economic, military, cyber, and health-related issues. At the end of each chapter, we provide a set of questions instructors and students can use to test whether the key teaching points have been absorbed. Throughout the book, feature boxes will alert you to the need to stop and reflect, and identify what structured analytic techniques best support the activities discussed in that chapter. We also include some of our favorite quotations and a robust set of graphics and text boxes to illustrate key points. The back cover of the book includes a foldout graphic, the Analyst’s Roadmap, that captures on one page key points made in the book.
The answers to the questions found at the end of each chapter are contained in a set of instructor materials that are free as a downloadable PDF to all instructors as well as government and private sector analysts who purchase the book. The graphics contained are also available to instructors and government and private sector analysts as free, downloadable JPEG and PowerPoint slides. You can register to obtain these instructor materials at college.cqpress.com/sites/intel-resources/.