Critical Reading

Re-reading

Re-reading is a crucial part of the critical reading process. Good readers will reread a piece several times, until they are satisfied they know it inside and out. It is recommended that you read a text three times to make as much meaning as you can.

The First Reading

The first time you read a text, skim it quickly for its main ideas. Pay attention to the introduction, the opening sentences of paragraphs, and section headings, if there are any. Previewing the text in this way gets you off to a good start when you have to read critically.

The Second Reading

The second reading should be a slow, meditative read, and you should have your pencil in your hand so you can annotate the text. Taking time to annotate your text during the second reading may be the most important strategy to master if you want to become a critical reader.

The Third Reading

The third reading should take into account any questions you asked yourself by annotating the margins. You should use this reading to look up any unfamiliar words, and to make sure you have understood any confusing or complicated sections of the text.

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Introduction