To get the most out of what we read, we need to know effective and critical reading methods. Being literate is one thing, being a reader is another. Most of us acquire literacy skills after starting school. However, throughout our lives, most of us in this context is not a reader but literate.

For a person to pass from literacy to readership, he or she must constantly use this skill and turn it into a habit. In addition, the person must go beyond what he reads and use critical and effective reading methods. Let’s take a look at how to do this.


Searching the Topic

The first step to reading with understanding is to find the topic. What is the author talking about? What are they writing about? We will try to find the answers to these questions by considering the whole writing we read. The first step in crucial and efficient reading is to search and find the topic. 

Determining the Point of View on the Topic

The topic is what is emphasized, what is spoken about. Perspective is the way the author views and handles that topic. More precisely, it is the attitude of the author towards the subject. The point of view has a great role in establishing and creating the mentality of the writing in effective and critical reading.

How does the author see the subject? Does he/she deal with it in a limited special way or in a general way? Is the author thinking locally or globally? Is it affirmative or critical? Questions like these help us understand the author’s point of view.


Finding the Main Idea

The third step in critical and effective reading is to find the main idea. The main idea is the main element that drives the writing. A full and correct understanding of the text depends on the correct understanding of the main idea. The main idea is generally in the form of a sentence and this sentence is called the main idea sentence.

Effectual and reviewal reading requires approaching texts under the guidance of several questions. What is the main emphasis in the article? What is the idea on which the article is based? These and similar questions allow us to find the main idea.

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Recognizing Ways to Develop the Main Idea

Every article is based on the main idea. The text is developed and sized in line with this idea. These thoughts that develop the main idea are called secondary thoughts. We call the establishment of a thought network by opening and developing the main idea as an ideational pattern. To read critically and effectively, that is, to be a good reader, is to find this pattern.

What kind of a relationship (place, time, cause-effect, opposition-similarity, etc.) is established between each supporting idea and the main idea? Critical and effective reading requires identifying and understanding them. Wondering which ways did the author apply to develop and open his ideas while creating his text? Let’s get to know the main aspects of them.


Exemplification: Authors illustrate an abstract idea so that the reader can grasp it. Our duty as readers is to follow the path of the author. We need to determine what is being illustrated.

Definition: Another way to guide us in understanding the important points in the writing we read is to separate the definitions. Often, writers first define an idea when developing it. Then, they go on to explain the key concepts contained in that definition. This will be a clue for us to grasp that thought.

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Comparison: Comparing is also a way of opening and developing an idea. Comparison can give us a clue in comprehending thoughts. Writers want to make a fact or thought believable. For this reason, they show the similar or dissimilar aspects of a fact that is known to everyone by getting rid of these known aspects.

Showing a Witness: In the texts, the thoughts and words of some important people (Atatürk, Aristotle, etc.) are used to make an idea believable or to reinforce it. These can be a guide to using effective and critical reading tactics, that is, to become a full reader.

Leveraging Objective Data: Authors use numerical data, figures, and graphics to expand and develop their thinking. These too can guide us.

As a result

We must make reading a habit to read effectively and critically, to be a reader rather than literate. Using the above-mentioned methods, we have to dive deep into the writing. A good reader reads with his brain, not with his eyes.





Mehmet Deniz KÜRÜN

Hi, people call me Deniz. I have a degree in Business Administration from Gazi University. I’m a huge metal music and chess fan. I want to become a digital marketing professional. Thank you for reading my article.





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