August 27, 2010
Guide to Writing
Critical Thinking trough Reading, Viewing, and Writing
When you think critically, you examine ideas fully and logically. The use of many strategies can help us to find a better way to understand. One strategy for critical reading, especially of information-rich, is called SQ3R:
Survey: This refers to preview the material. Try to spot main ideas. They will serve as reference points during the reading that follows. Question: As you survey, begin to ask questions that you hope to answer as you read. Asking questions will keep you actively thinking about what is coming up. Read: Look up unfamiliar words or ideas, and use your senses to imagine the events, people, places, or things you are reading about. Recite: This activity tests your comprehension, drives the material deeper into your long-term memory, and helps you connect the content with what you already know. Review: This activity will help you to move the information from short-term memory to the long-term memory, and will also improve your memory.
In other words, applying as many strategies as you know will help you to improve your learning style, the way you perceive information, and to focus on the main ideas. There are several things that you can do. Such as underlining and highlighting key words or phrases, but make sure to don’t overdo it because that will make you to feel confused, and will drive you out. of the main points. Excessive highlighting might be your brain saying “I’ll learn this later.” Moreover, excessive highlighting can make text difficult to reread and hence to review.
Another thing you need to be aware of is that many people have different learning styles. If you are visually oriented, you may understand a text best by mapping out its important parts. If you wish add some graphics, arrows, drawings, or anything that helps you visualize the relationship among ideas. Outline the text outlining is the traditional way of showing all the major parts, points, and subpoints. Evaluate the process, critical reading does not mean disproving the text or disproving of it. It means thoughtfully inspecting and evaluating the writer’s ideas. Summarizing ideas, with this activity you not only create a brief record of the text’s contents but also exercise you ability to comprehend, analyze, and synthesize information. Finally, you can think critically by viewing and interpreting an image. Interpreting an image follows naturally from viewing of “reading” the image. That means figuring out what the image or design is meant to do, say, or show.
You need to feel free to use any of these processes to control everything you read, write or view in order to find the meaning of everything you are trying to learn.
Credits: Glendale Community College, AZ.