The Universal Intellectual Standards are questions to ask whenever it is important to evaluate information and opinions. This holds true whether you are decision making, problem solving or researching a topic for personal knowledge or a paper. All facts, evidence, opinions, and reasoning should pass the following questions:
Ask: What exactly are we talking about? Is there an example of this?
Ask: Is this really true? Can it be checked or verified through other sources?
Ask: What are the details? Be specific.
Ask: How does this connect to the issue at hand?
Ask: Have all the issues been taken into account?
Ask: Is there another way to look at this issue/problem?
Ask: Does this make sense? Does this add up? Are there any contradictions here?