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Chapter 2

ENC 1101 Chapter 2: Thinking and Reading Critically

Center for Written and Oral Communication
Course Code
ENC 1101
Joseph Heizman

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Thinking and Reading Critically
Thinking Critically: questioning and analyzing ideas in order to understand
them better
Never accept ideas at face value
Challenge underlying assumptions
Form your own opinion and judgement about the idea
Reading Critically does not mean arguing every idea
Assess the accuracy of facts and evidence
Are their opinions supported by good/enough evidence?
Reliability of sources
Relevance of evidence to the topic
Consider opposing arguments
Does yours measure up to theirs?
Is there possible bias in your evidence or sources?
3 Parts of Active Reading:
Preview: figuring out the writer’s position on the issue, the argument’s key
points, and the context for the writer’s remarks
Title, first and last paragraphs will tell you writer’s position
Take note of topic sentences, headings, and any bold or italic
Bulleted lists and any graphics (tables, graphs, photos) are usually
***read the notes about the author!
Helps with context in which the author is writing
Careful Reading
Look for words & phrases that help shape the writer’s argument
Helps you understand what the argument is emphasizing
Look for:
“Primary, most important reason”
Repeated words & phrases
“Also, in addition, furthermore”
“First, after, finally
“Because, as a result, for this reason”
“For example”
“Likewise, similarly”
“Although, in contrast”
“However, on the contrary
“In fact, specifically, in other words”
Highlight the argument as you read it a second time
find more resources at oneclass.com
find more resources at oneclass.com
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