The further students pursue an education, the more they are required to use critical analysis; this is no exception for reading. Whether you are a student intent on developing your critical reading skills or just someone who wants to expand their perspectives on the texts they read, this article provides some simple ways of improving and understanding what you read.
1. Record The Number Of Times A Keyword Is Repeated
A way of recognizing theme and meaning in the story is observing how often the narrator or author repeats particular phrases or words. For example, in Thomas Middleton’s The Revenger’s Tragedy, a good idea when progressing through the text would be numbering the instances of “revenge” or “vengeance” that fill the play.
2. Note Important Or Strange Chapter Transitions
When books transition from chapter to chapter, some ideas are finished and some are left incomplete. The importance of noting awkward, confusing, or unsatisfying chapter ends is one of the best ways to connect themes and topics that resonate throughout the text.
3. Remembering And Noting Changes In Time
There’s almost always a reason when a story changes the time the characters inhabit. Reasons may involve letting characters develop (physically or mentally), allowing aggravating factors to escalate, permitting new characters to join the story, and multiple other examples. Of course, when reading the shift at first, it may be difficult to track the reason, but later in the story, one can acknowledge why time was needed in that particular section.
4. Finding Shifts In Key Narrators
Usually, characters who narrate the book are key characters of interest. In books that have a variety of narrators, an effective way of understanding which characters are important is by noticing who the author picks to share perspectives.
5. Isolate The Elements Of The Story And Make Connections
Discovering allegory, symbols, and other literary devices involve both detachment and attachment with certain elements of reading. For example, the book Animal Farm features a cast of talking animals that emulate the Russian Revolution. In order to recognize the symbolic meaning of texts, focusing intently on particular elements, such as the plot structure or the character’s personalities, can lead to fascinating discoveries!
Interested in more tips about critical reading? Check out this video below for some valuable gems of knowledge that can further aid your studies. Happy reading and studying!
YouTube Channel: Spectrum Science
Featured image via Lane Community College