Your Study Guides and Strategies starts here!

The best book is not
the book I like best.
The best book is the
book that takes you
where you want to go.
Brian Baxter 12-30.07
American bookseller

Reading and research series

Critical reading

Summarize, review and study your reading assignment, whether
book, chapter, handout, article, whitepaper, etc.:

Characteristics of Critical Readers

  • They are honest with themselves
  • They resist manipulation
  • They overcome confusion
  • They ask questions
  • They base judgments on evidence
  • They look for connections between subjects
  • They are intellectually independent

Ask yourself the following questions as you read:

  • What is the topic of the book or reading?
    What issues are addressed?
  • What conclusion does the author reach about the issue(s)?
  • What are the author's reasons for his or her statements or belief?
    Is the author using facts, theory, or faith?

Facts can be proven
Theory is to be proved and should not be confused with fact
Opinions may or may not be based on sound reasoning
Faith is not subject to proof by its nature

  • Has the author used neutral words or emotional words?
    Critical readers look beyond the language to see if the reasons are clear
  • Be aware of why you do, or do not, accept arguments of the author

Reading and research series

Reading critically | Prereading strategies | SQ3R reading method |
KWL reading method | Marking & underlining | Reading difficult material | Interpretive reading | Reading essays | Reading fiction | Narrator/character types |
Speed and comprehension | Researching on the Internet | Evaluating websites |
Organizing research: computers | Organizing research: note cards

Flash exercise contributed by Jennifer Kelly and Dr. Brad Hokanson, Interactive Media (DHA 4384) School of Design, University of Minnesota.