Critical Reading

A good student will continually develop the ability to read critically. Steps to developing critical reading ability include looking at the topic being read and the issues being addressed. Get a firm idea in your mind of the subject. Ask about the conclusion written by the author. A critical reader will look for the credentials of the author in an attempt to understanding the reasoning.

It is important to remember to look for evidence to support facts. Don’t confuse theory or opinion with facts. See if the author backs up what is written. If the author is basing the article’s or book’s conclusion on faith, you must remember that faith cannot be proven.

When reading the article or book, be aware of the emotional quality of the words. Sometimes an author will use inflammatory language to lead the reader to the desired opinion. A critical reader will analyze the language written to see is it supports the conclusions.

Think about why you may or may not agree with the conclusions reached by the author. Make sure that your opinions are based on the evidence presented, not on your feelings.

A critical reader will try to sift through any manipulation or bias written by an author. All conclusions reached by a critical reader will be based on facts and evidence. A critical reader will consider connections between subjects and ideas when deciding on a final conclusion.

Critical readers search for the truth in writing. As a student hones critical reading skills, the student will become more independent in thinking.