Introduction: Connecting your Learning
Focusing Your Learning
Assessing Your Learning
Summarizing Your Learning
Introduction: Connecting Your Learning
"Thinking while you are reading"
We truly live in an information age. The world around you, including politicians, the media, your boss, and
your family, is constantly giving you information, and it is becoming more and more important that you
understand the message. The purpose for a course in critical thinking/reading is to enable you to increase your
comprehension and your recall of information. While the course may usually refer to critical reading, we can
align this process with critical thinking, because the skills are so similar. Critical reading is the process and
skills used to be actively engaged, with a rational basis, in understanding and evaluating written materials.
You will use a set of standards, procedures, and skills. Your goal will be to comprehend and remember the
message, whether the message is sent to you from a writer or a speaker.
What questions should I be asking myself while I am reading?
You will find during this course that we are
asking you to do quite a bit
you are reading - to think about what the author is doing and why, to work
hard to be open-minded and to see if the author has done the same, and to read between the lines so that the
author doesn't put anything over on you. Yes, you will perhaps be reading in a way that you never read before;
you will be an active reader. The good news is that the results are worth it. You will find that your
comprehension is increasing and that your memory of the information is improving.
And we should help you eliminate a common problem. If you have ever found that, after reading a page of
material, you are at the bottom and you realize that you have no idea of what you just read, then you have
experienced the "awful, but common" problem of the inactive reader. Improving your ability to think while
you read and while you listen will be hard work, very interesting work, and very worthwhile in your life.
How would you evaluate your reading skills at this point?
Can you usually locate the author’s main idea?
Can you usually identify major support to the main idea?
Can you use various vocabulary techniques?
Can you identify a writer’s organizational patterns to help increase your comprehension?
To increase your learning in this lesson, it would be helpful if you wrote down your answers to these
These questions identify the reading skills necessary to be an effective literal level reader. This course will