عنوان مقاله [English]
Considering the importance of critical thinking as one of the important outputs of higher education system, assessing this cognitive competency among students can provide valuable information. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to assessing paraphrasing competency as the first level of critical thinking based on Paul and Elder Framework (2012) among freshman, sophomore and graduate students. This research was carried out with a qualitative approach, with phenomenography method. Participants were educational psychology students of Alzahra University in the academic year of 2018 - 2019, in terms of their voluntary willingness to cooperate. The students were requested to read a text from a book entitled "Art of Loving" and then paraphrase the text with their own words. Students’ responses in two parts including written texts and opinions were analyzed based on content analysis method. The findings of the research indicated that in the process of paraphrasing, changing the sentence structure, meaning of vocabulary, exact repeating a sentence, changing the meaning of sentence, describing and deleting the sentence relating to the context of the text was observed. Students’ opinions during interviews revealed three attributes including translation in accordance with text, weakness of comprehension, and criticizing. Based on the research findings it can be concluded that participants’ performance with regard to paraphrasing was weak. Thus providing instructional opportunities for the betterment of this competency as a first level of critical thinking is recommended.