Critical Thinking Text

Critical thinking involves being rational and aware of your own feelings on the subject – being able to reorganise your thoughts, prior knowledge and understanding to accommodate new ideas or viewpoints.

Recalling from time to time allows you to focus upon the main points – which in turn aids concentration.

Recalling gives you the chance to think about and assimilate what you have just read, keeping you active.

When you speed-read you are not aiming to gain a full understanding of the arguments or topics raised in the text.

It is simply a way of determining what the text is about.

Critical reading means being able to reflect on what a text says, what it describes and what it means by scrutinising the style and structure of the writing, the language used as well as the content.

Thinking critically, in the academic sense, involves being open-minded - using judgement and discipline to process what you are learning about without letting your personal bias or opinion detract from the arguments.

It is important that, before you begin to read, you have a question or set of questions that will guide you - why am I reading this?

When you have a purpose to your reading you want to learn and retain certain information.

To start with, you need to know what you are looking for.

You can then examine the contents page and/or index of a book or journal to ascertain whether a chapter or article is worth pursuing further.


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