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Intermediate Reading Course. Section 4: Reading Critically

Critical Thinking in Reading

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Reading critically is at the highest level of understanding what you have read. In a nutshell, it means you ask questions about the text to evaluate the information carefully and systematically.


From Basic to In-Depth Reading

The simplest form of reading requires you to understand main ideas and the details supporting them. At a higher level, you must interpret the writer’s use of language to truly understand the basic message. For example, you must interpret figurative language and ideas “hidden” in the writer’s tone, perspectives, and biases.

However, in-depth comprehension of the text requires you to read critically by processing and evaluating the information. This requires critical-thinking skills that you acquire before reading either through experience with the world around you or by having read and learned. The more you know, the better able you are to learn new things critically rather than simply accepting everything you read without questioning it.

Video Activity

Watch Critical thinking and reading and take good study notes.

Note. The video supports the content on this page. You can study the page and watch the video in any order.

Critical Reading

In this portion of the course, you will learn to improve your reading comprehension by using critical-thinking skills. Such skills involve, for example, evaluating the source and evidence presented; distinguishing between facts, opinions, and speculations; distinguishing facts and false claims; understanding data used as evidence; and analyzing the argument that writers present.

Up Next: Evaluating the Sources When Reading

Go to the next lesson to learn about evaluating the sources when reading.