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Critical Reading: What It Is and How to Do It (W/ Templates)

May 31, 2021

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May 31, 2021 | Blog

Critical reading as a student builds skills in writing, reading comprehension, and research.

As you approach higher levels of study, it is important to be critical about the texts being read and your arguments for why those readings should matter more than other things out there on similar topics.

Reading takes up many different aspects from analytical thinking to good vocabulary building-all while making sure we’re still enjoying what’s happening!

In addition, critical reading helps us argue our points better because knowing how some people before us have argued their point really can give insight into whether or not they were successful with that argument.

Critical Analysis Essay

What exactly is critical analysis?

Your tutor may have told you to be more critical in your essays.

This does not mean that you must be nasty or rude about anyone else’s point of view; it means that if you want good essay writing, then assessing the facts and making your own mind up would suffice.

Look at the question

To get started, it’s important to know what the question means and why they have chosen this one.

The tutor set that up by writing in a way where you would think about particular issues when reading certain texts, what do you think these might be?

Express your opinion.

It is important to consider your viewpoint when writing an essay

Your tutor wants you to think critically and be able to express a definite opinion about the subject matter on which they assign reading or instruction.

Imagine that you are arguing in court for your client, but if you do not know who’s the side of the argument beforehand then how could make any reliable points?

Persuasive essay writing

Next, you need to use all your persuasive powers in order to bring the reader around.

You must show awareness of different viewpoints and knock down each argument with good evidence.

Primary and secondary research: critical reading

When reading critically, you need to read critically as well.

This means that when considering a person’s argument or point of view, don’t just accept it without question.

Do your research on the author and their political views before judging them; are they known for holding one particular opinion over another?

Does this mean they will not challenge what goes against their own thoughts?

Good academic writing always has an agenda — so take care in accepting anything at face value because there is usually more than meets the eye with good authors who have plenty to reveal beneath all those words!

There are many problems with the evidence or loopholes in their argument.

Some academic writing tutors suggest that you approach every text skeptically and question everything they say, not just take it at face value.

These skills will be of benefit to you throughout your academic career so don’t forget them before working on a dissertation!

What to consider in Critical Analysis Essay

As you progress through university and are given a range of sources to read, not all will be considered good.

Each text is the author’s viewpoint rather than facts that should always be accepted without question. So how do we trust what we’re reading?

As students at universities across North America move into their first-year courses in high school English literature or history, they may find themselves faced with various textual materials – some more credible than others and varied points of view from which texts were written.

In this article, I want to explore how readers can use various methods such as close readings (intently examining every detail), evaluating authors’ intentions when writing these texts,/deciding on one “correct” interpretation over another.

You need to consider:

The author – 

Who is this author?

Do you think they’re a well-known academic, or are they just another CEO of an unknown company looking to get rich quickly by taking advantage of the masses?

Could you have a look at their biography?

The publisher –

A publisher can be an esteemed academic or trade, but some companies do not have a history.

However, if they are considered to publish influential books in their field and vary in what topics they cover, this is important information for potential book buyers.

A reputable publishing company will typically provide more detail than one who does not have any solid reputation behind them related to which types of writing make up their publications list.

How many years’ worth of work has been published under its name?

Sponsorship – 

When you are looking for a good book, it can be hard to find one that is not biased.

The author may write material slanted towards pleasing the sponsor even if they have been well-respected in their field or writing genre before.

You should always look at any clues on the jacket, such as endorsements and dedications because these will often reveal who sponsored them!

Evidence –

The argument is incredibly thorough, and the sources are all cited.

The text was well-written, with citations at every point where necessary to back up each claim made in the document.

In addition, the bibliography lists various academic books that would be relevant for readers who wanted more information on any given subject matter covered by this paper.

Do you agree or disagree?

You now have to take a close look at how well the argument has been constructed and assess whether or not you agree with what’s being said.

With a complicated text, it can be hard to work out what the author is arguing.

They may not even know themselves!

Complex texts are notoriously easy to get lost in as you try and decipher an author’s argument or intent.

Of course, you could spend hours trying to figure something that they didn’t intend for readers like yourself who have no background knowledge of the subject matter at hand but then again, maybe I don’t understand their point of view well enough myself?

Do you agree? 

This passage is very important because it discusses the different perspectives people may have on a topic.

For example, if you argue with somebody else, your feelings might get hurt when they disagree with something you say or do.

This makes me think about how I will approach my next conversation and how careful I will be in what I’m saying, so nobody gets offended!

Critical Analysis Template

Critical Analysis Essay Template-converted

Critical Reading Essay Example



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  • Elaina Ferrell

    With a deep understanding of the student experience, I craft blog content that resonates with young learners. My articles offer practical advice and actionable strategies to help students achieve a healthy and successful academic life.

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