A Guide to Critical Reading: While You Read

Okay, so you’ve decided this is a good source for  your purposes.  What now?  Reading an informational text isn’t quite like reading a novel.  Taking notes and marking important ideas is key to both evaluating and using the information you find.  While you’re reading, make note of  the following:

What arguments were made?   Does the author have a thesis?  An agenda or product he or she would like you to buy into?  Does this affect his ability to accurately and fairly argue points?

What evidence is provided?  Consider the sources used by the author.  Are they credible?  Make note of the facts.  Do these line up with facts you’ve found in other sources or are they incomplete or flawed?  Evaluate the relevance of the evidence to the argument.  Does the evidence prove the argument or simply lead to it?  Are conclusions logical?  Could other interpretations lead to different conclusions?

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