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Humanities Libertexts

6: Critical Reading

  • Page ID
    19541
  • Learning Objectives

    After successfully completing this module, you should be able to:

    • Describe the main point, evidence, and assumptions of a text.
    • Make inferences to comprehend a text’s meaning.
    • Identify propaganda techniques in text.
    • Compose a critical reading paper of a contemporary work.
    • Critically respond to classmates’.

    Although understanding is the foundation of all reading experiences, it is not the ultimate goal of most college reading assignments. Your professors want you to read critically, which means moving beyond what the text says to asking questions about the how and why of the text’s meaning. Reading critically means reading skeptically, not accepting everything a text says at face value, but wondering why a particular author made a particular argument in a particular way.

    • 6.1: Overview
    • 6.2: Reading Critically
      When you read critically, you read not only to understand the meaning of the text, but also to question and analyze the text. You want to know not just what the text says, but also how and why it says what it says. Asking questions is one key strategy to help you read more critically. As you read a text critically, you are also reading skeptically.
    • 6.3: Making Inferences
      Making inferences is a comprehension strategy used by proficient readers to “read between the lines,” make connections, and draw conclusions about the text’s meaning and purpose. You already make inferences all of the time.
    • 6.4: Propaganda
      Propaganda is a way to deliver a message that appeals to the emotions instead of presenting solid evidence to support a point. It is used by advertisers, salespeople, and politicians who may lack adequate facts to persuade people to support their point of view. Governments may use propaganda to rally support and influence people for a specific agenda, such as war. Part of being a critical reader is the ability to recognize these propaganda techniques.
    • 6.5: Discussion Board - WWII Propaganda Posters
    • 6.6: Assignment - Critical Reading of an Essay
    • 6.7: Discussion Board: Critical Reading of an Essay Feedback

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