Critical Reading

What Is Critical Reading? This is the start of a very useful site: Dan Kurland's ( Reading and Writing Ideas As Well As Words.

Critical Reading Strategies This site provides guidance on critical reading aimed at helping you to engage with the text as you read; that is to have a conversation or dialogue with what you read.

Seven Critical Reading Strategies This site provides seven strategies to assist you in reading critically: Previewing, Contextualizing, Questioning to understand and remember, Reflecting on challenges to your beliefs and values, Outlining and summarizing, Evaluating an argument, and Comparing and contrasting related readings.

Critical Reading Questions This site provides a list of critical reading questions: “Use the following questions to help guide your reading of what are sometimes complicated arguments; even when the argument seems straightforward, these questions can help to get at the different nuances in the language and rhetorical style. This in an important step in helping to clarify just what the argument is about, what position the author takes, how this position engages in a larger debate, and why this position and the debate in general are significant. Equally important is the attention you give to your own position on the topic. As you respond to these questions, think about what kinds of assumptions you bring to the argument and what kinds of questions you are left with. Your response to the argument should be guided as much by your understanding of its content and structure, as by your own engagement with the issues and problems it raises in relation to your own understanding of the topic.”

Critical Reading towards Critical Writing “ C ritical writing depends on critical reading. Most of the papers you write will involve reflection on written texts - the thinking and research that has already been done on your subject. In order to write your own analysis of this subject, you will need to do careful critical reading of sources and to use them critically to make your own argument. The judgments and interpretations you make of the texts you read are the first steps towards formulating your own approach.”

Critical Reading Techniques “…in many ways the strategies you use to analyze and evaluate writing are similar strategies you use to understand other complex situations: You think about what will probably happen, you listen carefully to what’s being offered, and you consider the offer and how it meets your needs. In the same way, you preview, read, and review the texts offered in this course.”

Critical Reading “As a reader, you are not a passive participant, but an active constructor of meaning. Exhibiting an inquisitive, "critical" attitude towards what you read will make anything you read richer and more useful to you in your classes and your life.”

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