Critical reading and thinkingPresentation Transcript
Critical Thinking and Reading
To non-critical readers, many texts offer the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. To the critical reader, any single text provides but one portrayal of the facts, one individual's "take" on the subject.
Non-Critical Reading Non-critical (or pre-critical) reading is concerned with recognizing what a text says about the topic. The goal is to make sense of the presentation as a sequence of thoughts, to understand the information, ideas, and opinions stated within the text from sentence to sentence, paragraph to paragraph.
Critical Reading Critical reading is an analytic activity. The reader re reads a text to identify patterns of elements -- information, values, assumptions, and language usage-- throughout the discussion. These elements are tied together in an interpretation, an assertion of an underlying meaning of the text as a whole.
Critical Thinking Critical thinking involves bringing outside knowledge and values to bear to evaluate the presentation and decide what to ultimately accept as true and meaningful in any given moment within our own social contexts.
Critical Reading To non -critical readers, texts provide facts. Readers gain knowledge by memorizing the statements within a text. To the critical reader, any single text provides but one portrayal of the facts, one individual’s “take” on the subject matter. Critical readers recognize not only what a text says, but also how that text portrays the subject matter. They recognize the various ways in which each and every text is the unique creation of a unique writer.
Critical Reading Non-critical reading is satisfied with recognizing what a text says and restating the key remarks. Critical reading goes two steps further. Having recognized what a text says , it reflects on what the text does by making such remarks. Is it offering examples? Arguing? Appealing for sympathy? Making a contrast to clarify a point? Finally, critical readers then infer what the text, as a whole, means , based on their own critical analysis.
Critical Reading These three steps or modes of analysis are reflected in three types of reading and discussion:
What a text says – restatement
What a text does – description
What a text means – interpretation
Goals of Critical Reading Critical readers need to accomplish several goals:
Recognize an author’s purpose
Understand tone and persuasive elements
Goals of Critical Reading Critical reading is not simply close and careful reading. To read critically, one must actively recognize and analyze evidence upon the page.
The initial step of critical reading involves recognizing a text as a presentation in its own right. This step is concerned with identifying such elements as
The existence of a beginning, middle, and end
The use of illustrations to explicate remarks
The use of evidence to support remarks
The use of stylish language to portray topics
Organization, or a method of sequencing remarks – such as whether chronological, different aspects of the topic, steps in a logical sequence
The next step involves describing the nature of these aspects of the text , of classifying the nature of the material within the text
The nature of the examples – what the examples are examples of
The nature of the evidence – what kinds of authorities are invoked, what types of evidence are provided
The nature of the choice or terms– what types of terms are applied to what topics
The final step involves inferring the underlying assumptions and perspectives of the discussion, taking into account of all of the elements of the text being as they are throughout the text as a whole. This step is concerned less with sequential development and more with recognizing patterns of elements interwoven throughout the presentation as a whole.
What is achieved by describing topics a certain way
What is assumed by selecting certain types of evidence
Critical Reading In a nutshell, critical reading involves a lot of critical thinking. This process includes: Reading carefully to thoroughly comprehend and evaluate what a text says, what a text does, and what a text means.
Read the syllabus carefully and critically.
Fill in the Syllabus Receipt and bring it to class on Thursday signed.
Think for a minute and write a short definition of “critical reading.”
Then explain in a sentence or two why this skill might be important for you in school, at work, and in life.
When you are finished with your door pass, please make sure you have a heading at the top of your paper, including your name, class, and date.
Hand in the door pass, and you are free to take a short break before returning for ENG 102 by 11:30 a.m. See you soon!