Critical reading is an active and worthy procedure of finding. It improves our attention regarding a subject and our capacity to gather information, and thoughts. Critical reading is connecting with critical thinking. Every person has different learning styles. Some are effective readers or some not. A person is not born with special skills or abilities, and these skills are not innate, although their abilities arise out of a practice and knowledge. Critical reading is one of the skill. We read any topic based on ourselves viewpoint, ideas, knowledge, and experience, as well as analysis and understanding. This skill is usually essential in a current period of modernism.
I am a student of the College of New Caledonia. The College and University Experience course provides students with specific skills and strategies needed to achieve their academic goals with greater success. The purpose of this course is to give students an opportunity to cultivate the skills, and values necessary to become confident, talented students. In addition, it specifically helps to guiding students through the critical thinking process, by using practical ways: researching, developing, and presenting a proposal for change within our college community. My group presentation topic was also a proposal for change regarding housing problems. Students have an opportunity to learn to a variety of topics critical to student success, including, but not limited to, learning styles, time management, planning and goal-setting, study techniques, and test-taking. I will discuss the critical reading in my following essay.
When we read critically, we will think about the author’s view on a subject. We will examine the standards and suggestions of the author’s writing. We also know about the strengths and weaknesses of the thesis argument in a subject. The focus of critical reading is finding the evidence of thesis and a well-reasoned argument. Critical reading arises and encourages imagination; hence, the reader thinks about the characters, environment, and places which are described in the subject.
Now, I am going to explain the tools of critical or active reading. First, when we read any material, we should underline the main topics and a big picture of the paragraph. It is an easy way to remember the topic. If we do not know about the definitions or meanings of unfamiliar or complicated words, then we should try to find those words meaning. We must read a topic with both physical and intellectual way. There are six proven basic steps and guidelines which are helpful for improving critical reading:
Keep a journal
Questioning to understand and remember
First, keeping a journal is the personal study which we develop in our own words, and ideas. we should reserve a special reading which is either a book or a journal. It is the procedure to preserve ideas, and feelings that help us in our future.
Annotating is the first strategy to improve the critical reading. It includes underlining key ideas, illustration, comparison, cause and effect. For instance, when we read an essay, we should outline and highlight the main topics and big pictures of the content. If we physically write the thesis statement or essay, then we can better access to write the quality writing.
Outlining means to know that how authors structure their main ideas. It helps us to identify the basic structure of the content. For example, we can use a highlighter to highlight major points, underline the big pictures, and take notes. Note-taking is the important strategy for understanding the content. It helps us to improve critical reading skills.
Summarizing means to summarize and write the most important ideas. We can reduce to a short statement of the content. We should put ideas together in our own words and in shorter. Reading critically leads to deeply understanding the idea.
Questioning is that before you read the content. We should make the list of questions related to the content. If we write questions in every paragraph, then these questions help us to understand a critical reading and remember it longer.
Further, analyzing means to detect the different components of the essay such as, thesis statement and key points, and examining that how they relate with each other. It also includes examine the content in a careful and active way.
Stories are all about the reading. If we read, “The truth about stories”, we should use these strategies in reading. However, it is an easy way to get engaged with the content.
Moreover, we should read the subject loud. This is particularly helpful for difficult material. Most of the people remember it better and get it more quickly when we hear an idea or information. We should follow the main strategies of note-taking: note key points, play with formats, experience any lab experiment, a statement by an instructor, and slide-show.
Reading is all about the borrowing of other’s thoughts and ideas. Critical reading is also helping to become a good writer. “But the starting point for becoming a good writer is to be a good reader. So, these skills are related to thinking. If writers have fine thinking they can read critically as well as write strongly. So, the main course to get all skills is starting from thinking. Develop ideas and collect more and more information to boost the thinking skills. Good thoughts develop from the environment. If we get a good environment we can get good thoughts in our mind.”
In this Cue-101 course, I learn many skills such as critical thinking, writing, and time management. However, critical reading is the most powerful skill. Reading is as a start-up, if we read anything carefully, we think about it in a critical way. It also helps to get good grades in CUE-101 as well as other courses. Moreover, I establish an ability to produce scholarly writing and presentations. It also reflects on my learning needs, personal growth, and development. I guess I will become a good reader if I can continuously work on my critical reading skills.
Critical thinking is beginning with critical reading. It is the very useful skill for every person. It helps us to tackle problems by taking creative ideas. We can understand the situation correctly, if we think critically.
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