What Is Critical Reading And Its Strategies?

Darryl Bachmeier
Oct 6, 2020

If you are a critical reader, you can do more than just remember an author’s ideas. You need to understand the author’s central concept (or position) on a subject, look at the author’s comments, and analyze the author’s conclusions about using important supplementary details and minor facts. 

What is critical reading?

Critical reading usually refers to reading in an intellectual context, an eye for identifying a text or writer’s views, arguments, evidence, possible biases, and conclusions. Critical reading is the method of estimating what you have read using your knowledge as a scholar.

What are the steps of critical reading?

Before you read

Scan a section to find out what it is and what the main argument is. This includes reading an introduction or sub-topics if one exists.

While you read

Keep a running conversation with the teacher by annotating by recording your thoughts, ideas, and questions. Underline, highlight or circle important areas and points, and write comments in the margins.

After you read

Take a look at your notes if you want to get the ideas of ​​the notes. You can also decide to write a summary to confirm your understanding.

Responding to text

Once you have developed a clear sense of the author’s argument and rationality, you can analyze the author’s argument and methods. Then, you can build your own ideas - perhaps as your own article.

What are Critical Reading Strategies?

This article outlines some basic strategies for critical reading-


One of the first strategies to get started is to refer to the text. When you make a note, you are underlining essential parts of the text, such as the dissertation report, body paragraph, title sentences, and descriptive material. The annotation also includes circling keywords and writing comments or questions you have about the subject at the edges.


When you summarize the text, try to relate it with its initial and historical or cultural context. As a critical reader, you can try to identify the context and contemplate how this context differs from your own. You need to do the following:

  • Foreign Language or ideas those appear foreign or outdated.
  • Your knowledge of the place and place where the content was written.

Reflect challenges to your beliefs and values

Sometimes it is difficult to express our beliefs about an issue because they are so deeply ingrained. To discover the beliefs, it is necessary to explore how a text can challenge you. Does it bother, threaten, embarrass, or inspire you? Many of us have a strong reaction to some of the content we read. This reaction is an excellent example of an occasion where this type of reading strategy could be used.


When you comment on a text, you put it in your own words. This will help you to understand the problematic or ambiguous passage. This is one of the three ways to incorporate other people’s ideas into your own. The other two summarize directly.

Unlike the summary, a review contains all of the original information. The purpose of a study is to simplify without changing any information. You do not change what is said, but how it is said.


In short, it can be used as a prelude. The outline allows you to identify the basic structure of a text and the text’s main ideas. In an outline, you list the main ideas and support the sources of a text. It is equally important to differentiate between the two. Use your own words when outlining text. See Bedford Guide, page 483.

In short

The abstract creates new text by integrating the original material. After outlining the text, the information is added back into your own words. Abstract develops an understanding of the text as you need to recreate the meaning of the text in your own words. See Bedford Guide, page 561.

Exploring identity language

Symbols, metaphors and symbols are all examples of sign language. This type of language helps writers to explain their points and get the reactions they want from the reader.

Searching for forms of resistance

A writer can expect opposition by responding in some way to his comments. A writer may also have conflicting opinions about the issues presented in the text. Considering the opponent, yes, no; Black and white; Etc. The writers will often present an argument by supporting a page of opposing words. You can do the following to see the patterns of resistance:

Evaluating the logic of an argument

An argument has its two parts, claim, and support. The writers want the reader to agree. That is, the claim is the author’s idea, opinion, or perspective. 

Support the changing causes and evidence that form the basis for that claim. Arguments must pass the XYZ exam. To test an argument for correctness, you have to analyze it according to logical errors.

Recognition of emotional manipulation

Writers are guilty of improper emotional manipulation when using false or exaggerated appeals. As a writer acting as an alarmist, you should be skeptical as a reader when using emotionally charged words such as racism or trying to discredit the opposition. Some of the following are emotional appeals.

  • Mounted or oblique language: Language is about getting a specific reaction from the reader.
  • Frequency Effect: Others think this is true, and you should do the same.
  • Flat False flattery: Praising the reader for accepting the writer’s point of view.
  • Hidden threat: Dangerous or intimidating readers who trust the author.

Bottom Line

Critical reading involves the use of logical and rhetorical skills. Identifying the author’s dissertation is an excellent place to start, but understanding how the author wants to support it can be a difficult task.

An author will make a statement (usually in the form of a dissertation) and support it in the body of the text. Support for the author’s claim is in the evidence provided to indicate whether the author’s intended argument is sound, or reasonably plausible.

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