Critical reading is “a process of evaluation or categorization in terms of some previously accepted standards. [Phew!] It is a logical examination of data which avoids fallacies and judgments on an emotion basis only.”
From our beginnings, we develop cognitive skills that allow us to move through our experiences with reading and viewing. We find our way toward explanation, analysis, evaluation, and–perhaps–appreciation.
Of the many skills (some researchers posit some 180), a short list is worth noting. Readers of this can identify how many you know about what you know, or thought you knew.
COMPARING and CONTRASTING
DISTINGUISHING fact and fancy; fact and opinion
ESTABLISHING sequence; cause and effect
EVALUATING and SOLVING problems
FINDING information (to prove or disprove a statement)
FORMING an opinion
INTERPRETING implied, not stated, ideas
JUDGING reasonableness and relevance
MAKING inferences, judgments
RELATING story experience to personal experience
LEARNING THE ALPHABET, in order, is such a skill that is so basic, so important: How would one EVER be able to “look it up” without KNOWING/MEMORIZING the alphabet? [Let’s see: Does “eleemosynary” come before “elementary”?]