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1 Critical Reading Prof. Dr. Khalid Mahmood Department of Library & Information Science University of the Punjab.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Critical Reading Prof. Dr. Khalid Mahmood Department of Library & Information Science University of the Punjab."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Critical Reading Prof. Dr. Khalid Mahmood Department of Library & Information Science University of the Punjab

2 2 What is critical reading? Critical is not intended to have a negative meaning in the context of critical reading. Definition: An active approach to reading that involves an in depth examination of the text. Memorization and understanding of the text is achieved. Additionally, the text is broken down into its components and examined critically in order to achieve a meaningful understanding of the material.

3 3 Passive vs. Active Reading Passive Reading: - (4 traits) 1. Largely inactive process. 2. Low motivation to examine the text critically or at an in-depth level. 3. Important pieces of data and assumptions may be missed. 4. Data and assumptions that are perceived by the passive reader are accepted at face value or are examined superficially, with little thought.

4 4 Passive vs. Active Reading Active Reading: - Active reading involves interacting with the text and therefore requires significantly more energy than passive reading. Critical reading ALWAYS involves active reading. The active reader invests sufficient effort to understand the text and commit important details to memory. The active reader identifies important pieces of data, the assumptions underlying arguments, and examines them critically. They rely on their personal experiences and knowledge of theory to analyze the text.

5 5 Techniques of Critical Reading 1.Previewing 2.Writing 3.Critical Reading (at least two times) 4.Summarizing 5.Forming a Critical Response 6.Finding a Focus for Your Paper

6 6 Previewing Form meaningful expectations about the reading. Pace yourself – decide how much time you will dedicate to the reading. Skimming. Look for Title, Section Headings, Date Expectations about the Author (previous works) Define the important vocabulary words Brief summaries of chapters The goal is to obtain a general grasp of the text

7 7 Writing 1.Writing While Reading a. Margin b. Divided Page Method c. Landmark/Footnote Method d. Reading Journal e. Online Documents

8 8 Writing - Margin Mark, highlight, or underline parts of the text that you think are very important. Option 1 - Write a few words in the margin that capture the essence of your reaction. Option 2 – Write a few words that will help you to remember the passage. This is useful for learning definitions or parts of a theory.

9 9 Divided Page Method On a separate piece of paper, divide your page into two columns. Label one column text (meaning from your reading) and the other response (meaning your response). Write down a part of the text you think is important in the text column and then write a reaction to it in the other column.

10 10 Landmark/Footnote Method On a separate piece(s) of paper or in your reading journal, dedicate an adequate amount of space to an article, book, chapter, etc, you are reading. Highlight, mark, or underline a critical part in your reading. In the margin, indicate that you are going to write a footnote. For example, write a 1 or a (or whatever you want). In your reading journal, write a 1 or a (or whatever symbol you chose) and then write your critical response.

11 11 Reading Journal In addition to the other uses described above, use the reading journal to track what you are reading and to form critical responses to articles, chapters, etc you have read in their entirety. Try to summarize the entire article, describe the main points, define key terms, and express your reactions. Remember, do NOT refer back to the text until you absolutely have to! Give your memory a workout! Force yourself to learn the material as you read and be able to write it down clearly afterwards. Also, put concepts into your own words. A general rule is 3-5 pages of notes per 100 pages of text.

12 12 Online Documents Two ways to write while reading online documents… 1)Reading Journal 2)Cut and Paste in Word Processor, then insert comments

13 13 First Reading Read in an environment where you will be free from distractions. Read steadily and smoothly. Try to enjoy the work. Write notes, but do so sparingly. What works best for you? We suggest avoiding your cell phone, television, computer, and music.

14 14 Second Reading Re-read the material more slowly than during your first read. The two most important objectives are: 1. Understand the content of the material 2. Understand the materials structure

15 15 3 Responses to Texts Restatement- Restating what a text says; talking about the original topic. Description- Describing what a text does; identifies aspects of text. Interpretation- Analyze what a text means; asserts an overall meaning.

16 16 Summarization Summarization: Pull out the main points of the text and write them down. The summarys complexity and length will vary according to the complexity and length of the text you have read!

17 17 Forming Your Critical Response Analysis Interpretation Synthesis In forming your critical response, you will now go beyond what the author has explicitly written to form your impressions of the text.

18 18 Analysis Analysis is the separation of something into its parts or elements, which helps to examine them more closely. To analyze reading, you can take at least these two approaches: 1)Choose a question to guide analysis. 2)Look at the authors argument structure.

19 19 Analysis (continued) Examine the argument structure. Claims: Statements that require support by evidence. Assumptions: The writers underlying beliefs, opinions, principles, or inferences that connect evidence to the claims.

20 20 Analysis (continued) Types of evidence Facts: Verifiable evidence. Opinion: Judgments based upon facts. Expert Opinion: Judgments formed by authorities on a given subject. Appeal to Beliefs or Needs: Readers are asked to accept a claim in part because they already accept it as true WITHOUT factual evidence or because it coincides with their needs. Appeal to Emotion: A claim that is persuasive because it evokes an emotion within the reader, but may or may not rely on factual evidence.

21 21 Analysis (continued) To judge the reliability of evidence, look at the following areas: Accuracy Relevance Representativeness Adequacy

22 22 Analysis (continued) Logical Fallacies: Errors in reasoning. Examples: Red herring- introduction of an irrelevant issue in an argument. Non sequitur- linking two or more ideas that have no logical connection. Making broad generalizations without proven empirical evidence.

23 23 Interpretation After breaking down the text into its components and examining them, ask yourself about the conclusions you can draw from this evidence. What claims does the author make? What evidence supports these claims? Can you infer anything beyond what the author has explicitly written that either strengthens or weakens the claims made by the author?

24 24 Synthesis Now that you have broken down the text into its parts, analyzed them, and interpreted it all, you should make new connections with what you know. Ask yourself again: What are the main points of this text? Were my expectations for this article met? If I read in between the lines do I learn anything else about what the author is saying? Overall, what can I conclude from this text?

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