How to read critically
What is critical reading?
Critical reading does not necessarily mean that you are critical of what you read. Reading and thinking critically do not imply to be “critical” about an idea, argument, or piece of writing-claiming it is defective or defective somehow.
Critical reading implies getting involved with what you read by asking questions like,’ What is the writer attempting to say? Or’ what is provided as the primary reasoning? There is a reasoned argument in the critical reading which assesses and analyzes what you have read. Therefore-in the educational sense – Being critical, therefore – in an academic sense – means advancing your understanding, not dismissing and therefore closing off learning.
Critical reading means exercising your judgment on what you read, that is, not taking anything you read with a face value.
You are confronted with the author’s interpretation and opinion when reading scholarly content. Of course, various authors will have distinct slants. You should always look at what you read critically and find constraints, omissions, inconsistencies, disregards, and arguments against what you read.
In scholarly circles, while you are a student, you should comprehend and create your own judgments based on what you read.
As a critical viewer, you should consider:
• What the text says: you should be able to take notes after reading a piece, paraphrasing the main issues–in your own words.
• What the text explains: you should be sure that the text has been adequately understood so that you can use your own example and compare it with other writings about the topic.
• Text interpretation: this implies you should be able to analyze the text in full and indicate a significance for the entire text.
Critical reading implies that you can think about what a text says, what it defines and what it means by examining the style, structure, and content of the writing, the language used, and the content.
Proficient adult readers:
- Know why they are reading the text
- Preview and make predictions
- Do selective readings
- Connect text and associate it with, what they already know
- Refine predictions, and expectations
- Use context to define unfamiliar phrases
- Rereading and making notes
- Assess the quality of the text
- Reviewing significant points in the text
Reinforce your reading
To help you take in and understand what you are reading, also remember to:
• Stop for a few minutes at the end of each chapter to think about what you read and summarize the key points in your own words.
• Tell another person what you read about. If they don’t know anything about the subject, what would you ask them to understand it?
• Take part in group discussions and talk to your fellow learners about what you read.
• Please consider why your assessor asked you to read the text. What questions would your lecturer ask to make sure that you understand the text? Write down these questions and then attempt your own words to answer them.