Critical Reading

A good reflective reader looks like:

  • They ask questions.
  • They are willing to accept new ideas.
  • They are skeptical of everything read.
  • They closely examine the author’s point of view and respond to the author.
  • They associate the author’s perspective on his own experience and knowledge.


How does a critical reader find meaning:

  • Reflective readers believe that the meaning of a text can not be found in the text on the page. In order to understand the text, they use their own knowledge and experience to influence their understanding of the text on the page. They will take notes, ask themselves questions and so on. For reflective readers, reading is an interactive process.

Magnifying Glass - Questions

Asking questions: 

  • Asking questions helps better compare our thoughts to the author’s ideas. And helps us better to understand what the author wants to express.
  • Asking question during read:
    Who is the author?
    What possible biases might have influenced her work?
    What are my beliefs about the issue addressed in the reading?
    How open am I to new ideas on this topic?
    What audience does the author seem to be trying to reach?
    What was the author’s purpose? Did she achieve her goals?
    What are the author’s major assertions or findings?
  • Questions that help readers “interact” with the text:
    What is my thoughts on the topics and questions in this reading?
    What is the article I can accept the idea, what is I can not accept?
    What is convincing? What is unclear?
    What are the ideas in this article is not the same with my understanding of this topic?


Take notes and marks:

  • Easy to read, the focus on the article become more clearer. Also, take notes and marks to help us to pause and think about we are reading.
  • Marks thesis, primary assertions, supporting evidence, key paragraph, quotes and  important words.
  • Take notes for personal thinking, unclear words, and so on.


works cited:

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