Reading

Recognizing what the text says about the topic amounts to non-critical reading. To the critical reader, any single text provides one portrayal of the facts, one individual’s “take” on the subject matter. Thus reading must be more than recognizing facts that is the reader must see how the subject matter is portrayed. Therefore the goal of reader must be to make sense of the presentation as a sequence of thoughts, to understand the information, ideas, and opinions stated within the text from sentence to sentence, paragraph to paragraph. Critical reading is an analytic activity. The reader rereads a text to identify patterns of elements -- information, values, assumptions, and language usage-- throughout the discussion. These elements are tied together in an interpretation, an assertion of an underlying meaning of the text as a whole. Thus for the reader to read critical they must think critically. Critical thinking involves bringing outside knowledge and values to bear to evaluate the presentation and decide what to ultimately accept as true.

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