As we begin another circuit round the sun, and you create your New Years resolutions and plans for success in 2019, I have some advice.
For those aiming at academic achievement, self improvement, personal development, or any of the other euphemisms for learning, attaining knowledge, critiquing and growing:
"Mind your sources"
I often hear people who disparage the evidentiary claims of those with whom they disagree loudly espousing the idea that, in order to agree with them, people don't need to see the evidence of "their" view point.
"it's common sense" is the often heard rebuke. In a world where critical thinking and making "sense" of arguments is often anything but common parlance. It's such a subtle distinction, but oh so important.
"I don't trust them and their evidence, so trust me, and "you don't need to see any evidence"
This dilutes evidentiary argument to mere "opinion" and thus is changing the parameters of what is being discussed mid discussion. (Equivocation - in a sense)
It's a neat mind trick for the easily swayed. So don't be.
Assume that evidentiary claims are always "to be proven". Rigorously test theories. All of them.
Find evidence. and learn to discern a sources reliability and impartiality. And crucially. become practiced at distilling the evidenced truth, from people's interpretation, and therefore opinion of it.
Have great start to the new year. Heres a great video from an early influence on me, that makes the point.