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Adapted from the University of Minnesota’s Student Writing Guide, 2004. Pay Attention to the Length of the Essay, and other Requirements. about them. After outlining the text, the information is put together again in your own Language or ideas that appear foreign or out of date. Critical reading strategies Reading effectively requires approaching texts with a critical eye: evaluating what you read for not just what it says, but how and why it says it. As a This chart shows you what to look for when approaching the text from the believing and doubting angles. argument must be, For instance if you wrote down �pleasant and evaluation? This can be There are three ways that writers establish their credibility. Maybe the other person will take the devil’s advocate role or maybe you will. down the opposite to that phrase. Content analysis questions address the intended audience, objectivity, evidence, style and critical reviews. Engaging in the text this way allows you to recognize main arguments and important facts such as names and dates. In fact, reading and writing processes are alike. Sometimes our beliefs about an issue are difficult to express because they Also, make note of words or terms you don’t understand so you can look them up later. It forces you to pay attention as you read and to read more slowly rather than skimming. The cloud was like a cotton ball. One of the first strategies to begin with is annotating a text. Critical Reading – CSU (Writing@CSU) Identify the points in the text where you feel your beliefs are being This two-page handout can help you develop your own system for annotating texts by understanding what to look for and make note of as you read. material that needs to be studied for exams. Critically Reading Assignment Sheets (Writing@CSU) Guide, Fifth Ed., New York:  Bedford/St. This close read process can also be used on many different verse forms. Rather, hold confusing passages in mental suspension, and continue to read with the idea that what seems difficult to understand now may be cleared up as you go along. presented in the text. Keep in mind that all texts filter reality—distort, persuade, and arrive at different conclusions—and that all texts are trying to change your view in some way. On this handout, you’ll find questions to help you better understand your assignment. The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer. C ritical reading is a vital part of the writing process. My advice: Don’t be in a hurry to get to the next sentence, paragraph or chapter. read. Does it make you feel disturbed, threatened, ashamed, Arguments must pass the ABC test. If you’re reading an article about the Republican party’s presidential candidates, for example, and you’re a die-hard Democrat, it would be great for you to talk to a Republican to understand the other side of the political coin. Playing the Believing and Doubting Games (Seton Hall University) Read the sonnet a few times to get a feel for it and then move down to the close reading.”. In this chapter from Writing Spaces: Readings on Writings, Volume 1, you will find “guidelines for interpreting writing assignments” including specific questions to ask yourself as you work through understanding an assignment. critical reader, you need to be aware of these differences. Writers will often present an argument by In order to look for patterns of opposition such as like, as, or appears. a. f. How is field research presented? In the right-hand column write Critical reading is a crucial skill for anyone seeking in-depth knowledge of a subject or who are aiming to become an expert or thought leader in a certain area. By showing their knowledge of subject (using facts and statistics) Appropriate © 2011 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All Rights Reserved. g. How much description and narration is normally used? For arguments that support or contest your thesis in a writing assignment? Critical reading is a vital part of the writing process. writer wants the reader to accept. pages 506-517. 7 CRITICAL READING STRATEGIES. Be willing to struggle with the text in order to understand it—but don’t get hung up on single, tough details in first readings. When a writer acts as an alarmist, uses emotionally loaded becomes the basis for that claim. 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. Peter Elbow’s believing and doubting games can allow you to better read and interpret arguments by siding with and siding against different points of view. Whether you’re a student, a professional or a citizen looking to engage more deeply in public debates, critical reading is a crucial skill that’s worth developing. This guide defines a primary source, explains how reading primary and secondary sources is different and offers strategies for reading primary sources. d. Veiled threat: alarming or frightening readers into believing author. What do they have to say that’s different from the author’s take. For or inspired? By building common ground with readers (base reasoning on shared beliefs) How is the author identified in the writing? It will help you take important decisions about causes you may want to get involved with or political stances to take or not take. words. 1. In both, you make meaning by actively engaging a text. Read with a pen or pencil, highlighting key statements, parts, or points—even those you find confusing. Effective reading is central to both effective research (when you evaluate sources) and effective writing (when you understand how what you read is written, you can work to incorporate those techniques into your own writing). especially important to be able to distinguish between the two. Questions relate to the purpose of the assignment and the audience, evidence, formatting and style for your paper. how a text challenges you. Click on the links in the right-hand column to read tips for analyzing your assignment sheet, understanding the requirements, and managing your time. a. Loaded or slanted language: language meant to get a specific reaction from When you contextualize a text, you place it within its original historical or If not, what kind of information is missing in order for it to be more successful? It also provides you a springboard from which you can then form your own analysis. Harvard University suggests six reading strategies: previewing, annotating, outlining, finding patterns, contextualizing and comparing/contrasting. exaggerated appeals. As a reader, you are not a passive participant, but an active constructor of meaning. By learning how to close read a poem you can significantly increase both your understanding and enjoyment of the poem. If your first reading is for basic information and evaluation, subsequent readings can take on different levels of focus (on style and tone, on details, on examples, on intellectual or ideological tradition, etc.). Preview or survey the text before detailed reading begins, looking for clues related to its purpose, its relevance, its difficulty, and how it connects with ideas or information you already know. This guide is designed to help you to understand and engage this active reading process more effectively so that you can become a better critical reader.”. example, when a writer refers to the crown to symbolize monarchy. �nightmares� in the right. Ask yourself questions about how you read: Do you read too quickly or slowly? Whether it’s a heated or an even-keeled discussion, you’ll get more out of it than if you had just gone along with your pre-formulated opinions. Depending on the complexity and length, it may be necessary for you to read it a few times in order to really understand the arc of the author’s logic. Reading a text critically requires that you ask questions about the writer’s authority and agenda. c. Come to a conclusion about what the writer wants you to believe based on d. What evidence is valued in this field? Most major standardized tests, including the SAT, ACT, LSAT, MCAT and others, have critical reading sections. By continuing to browse the website, you accept it. h. How are quotations cited? Speed reading is okay, but it’s better to be a critical reader, than a speed reader. b. So, take your time, don’t skim, but read slowly and methodically, taking in the text a second or third time to make sure you understand it thoroughly. This handout will help you unravel your assignment and begin to craft an effective response. statement, topic sentences of body paragraphs and explanatory material. Strategies for Reading More Critically (Writing@CSU) cultural context. the burden of proof. STRATEGIES FOR CRITICALLY READING TEXTS. Critical Appraisal and Analysis (Cornell University Library) e. How are statistics presented? b. In order to do this, you need For information that you know you’ll need for an assignment, or for information to get you thinking about what you’ll need? In testing for consistency you are checking to make sure This resource first presents the entire sonnet and then presents a close reading of the poem below. Strategies for Critical Reading for College Students. c. What key concepts does the reader need to be familiar with? If you know what you’re reading for, you can better distinguish information that can be skimmed from that which should be more closely examined, and make better use of your reading time.

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