Critical Reading

After posing the question, “What does it mean to interpret a text critically?” SUNY Empire State College offers the following answer, “It means being a discerning reader who: questions what you read; thinks about what the author wants you to believe and works to convince you; decides whether the author’s views are worthy of agreement.”

If we are feeling at all shaky about our powers of discernment, we might be asking, “What are the sorts of questions discerning readers raise?”  The University of Washington helps us out here with some questions based on an adaptation of J.K. Beyer’s “Critically Analyzing an Academic Article or Book” AnalysisPapers.pdf.  SUNY Empire State provides complementary guidance in the form of worksheets, each with its own set of questions: Authority of the Writer; Logic of The Writer’s Argument; Ways in Which the Writer Gets Your Interest; Writer’s Use of Language and Style; Ideology that Informs the Text. .”

Last revised on January 25, 2018.