Critical reading and 5 sub-skills

Essay by rmatrixmCollege, Undergraduate February 2007

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The term critical reading refers to analyzing and judging or evaluating the reading material and comparing the ideas discovered with previous experience or knowledge and then drawing conclusion about the accuracy and appropriateness of the reading material.

The reader is required to judge the validity and worth of what is read. In order for critical reading to take place, the reader must have at least basic knowledge of the field of the reading material. He or she should also have an attitude of questioning and learn to suspend judgment until all the reading material has been considered.

Five sub-skills that will be discussed are: facts and opinion, truth and fantasy, propaganda, determining the authors' purpose and determining the authors' competence.

Facts and Opinions

Factual statements are objective and can be verified by using procedures that can be replicated by others while opinions are subjective and has no commonly accepted measure of truth.

Facts are statement of things that have occurred or can be actualized. On the other hand opinions are statements of personal ideas, judgment, or feeling. Even though some opinions are based on facts they are not facts because they are someone's belief or judgment that is not founded on proof or certainty.

Propaganda Techniques

This includes intentionally organizing words and nonverbal symbols to sway individuals to accept an idea, adopt an attitude, or take a certain action. Techniques that are used to accomplish this are bad names, transfer, bandwagon, glad names and testimonial.

Bad name is a method the writer uses to encourage the reader to make negative judgment about someone or something without examining the evidence carefully. The writer uses statements such as "relieve irritating itching" or "the situation is a rotten - smelling mess."

Transfer entails the use of long-standing feelings of high regard for...