Critical reading involves figuring out the meaning and intent of the author. It requires you to analyze a text to determine how the author is saying it. It also requires you to judge the text. The skills behind critical reading are utilized in both college and the workplace.
Distinguishing Facts from Opinions
Critical readers need to be able to distinguish between a fact and an opinion when reading. Not all prints are filled with facts. Facts can be proven while opinions are personal judgments from the author. Both play a valuable role, depending on the topic.
Inferences must be supported with evidence. Inferences conclude the writers suggestion rather than what they are stating.
A synthesis is adding new information to something already known. This is used in college to relate new ideas to previous information learned. You will be able to note how something supports, clarifies or illustrates the topic of conversation.
Evaluating what you are reading helps you understand what you reading. Determining whether the writer is being factual or opinionated can also help you determine their credibility in what they are writing about.
Detecting Errors in Logic
Readers need to determine if there are errors in logic that can mislead or manipulate the reader. Writers unintentionally use faulty reasoning which can lead to a false conclusion.
STRATEGIES FOR CRITICAL READING
Investigate the material you are reading about. Your opinions might change over a period of time. Researching and asking other readers will help give you a better understanding of what you are reading.
Approach Your Reading with a Reflective and Questioning Attitude
Critical readers never accept what they read without questioning the material. By questioning what you are reading you are drawing your own conclusions
Preview the Material
Previewing the material prior to reading gives you an idea of what you are about to analyze. Read the title or anything before the first chapter to understand the tone or subject matter of the piece.
Do a First Reading
A first reading gives you an impression of the material. Do the first reading in one sitting when possible. Don’t let anything you don’t understand stop you from advancing because you will circle back around to it at another time.
Reread and Study
The second read requires your reflective and questioning attitude to gain a deeper understanding of the read. Take notes on all of the important texts. Research words that are unclear. Identify the thesis and purpose.
Keeping a Reading Journal
A reading journal can be used to help with future writings. It allows you to track progression and helps with trial drafts and experimenting with ideas.
STRATEGIES FOR READING VISUAL MATERIAL CRITICALLY
Visual material is being utilized in books and in classrooms to present essential information yet needs to be also be read critically.
Reading Visual Material
The same rules apply in reading visual material as text. You still need to identify the purpose,…