By Jahna Lacey
When students read critically, they must be able to differentiate facts and opinions, assess arguments, comprehend the main idea of works, summarize the reading and examine key issues.
“Critical reading is about understanding and interpreting the text,” student development Instructor Casey Lechuga said. “It is also about analyzing and evaluating what you are reading and reading actively, not passively.”
Lechuga said students should use the SQ3R method by surveying, questioning, reading, recalling and reviewing the text. He said critical reading is important for students in school and in life because it provides them with information they can use to create knowledge of a subject.
“Critical reading delves deeper into a text and begs more questions,” writing center tutor Carlos Anthony Lopez said. “A great piece deserves to be read critically because it reveals so much more about a work, and it benefits the reader on an absolutely different level.”
There are key strategies students can use to read critically.
“Don’t just read for fact. Read for understanding,” English Adjunct Sharon Gammell said. “Slow down when reading. A lot of people read too fast because in college you’ve got a lot of reading to do. Take notes; keep a piece of paper with you when you read.”
Gammell said some study tips for critical reading include eliminating distractions, seeking out a quiet spot such as the library, setting aside a certain amount of time for studying and reading, and having a piece of paper and a pencil while reading.
Lopez said critical reading takes a lot of patience because the content will stick the more readers interact with the reading process.
“I try to tell students to annotate and write on the text,” writing lab coordinator Frank Kavanaugh said. “Students should also use sticky notes or any kind of method to make some kind of comment or question and underline what seems to be important.”
Kavanaugh said students should first find a comfortable and well-lit place, read with a pen in hand, annotate a text, and