Critical reading is one of the things that I found important because it helps me to understand and to get a meaning out of a piece of writing. Critical Reading is important in order for one to be a good writer there is need to read and to actively comprehend what he has read. Critical reading is helpful in learning and it can lead to someone developing deep interest (Borges &Levine,2010).
Some of the strategies of critical reading include previewing. This is happens when someone gets a sense of the content of the document before reading it deeply. It can include looking at the title, introductory paragraph and skimming through the reading. Previewing helps in developing and sustaining interest in a reading material. Critical reading also has to do with putting material before you into context; trying to look at the document through one’s experiences, cultural and historical context so as to have better understanding.
Summarizing is also another important aspect of critical reading. When making a summary you write down the thesis statement and the main points. Re-reading is another great aspect that leads to better understanding and it is important to read a piece three times to know it inside and out. The first reading should be about quickly skimming through without paying special attention to detail. The second reading should be slower while paying attention to get the meaning while the third reading should drive the meaning home and answer some questions that you had noted down.
Another way that would help to deepen the learning experience is revision. As Zinsser (2010) puts it the main purpose of revision is to identify areas of weakens in a piece of writing so that you can correct them to make it clearer and more articulate.
Revision is important in learning and writing because it helps to highlight weaknesses that need to be worked and areas where you need to put in more efforts. No document is perfect the first you write it in most cases you need to through it over and over before you get the final piece ready that can be read by others. Revision helps you to know the interesting sections in a piece that you have written and this can lead to putting more efforts to make the interesting areas even better. In a nut shell revision helps to deepen and learning.
One thing that I thought might have made this course better is group work. Working together on a project is the best way of finishing it on time. In my view, writing should be learnt and done in a setting because this can help those who may have no inclination or writing talent to develop confidence that comes from collective effort to better their own skills. I have discovered that my writing improves tremendously when friends and tutors read and critique my writing because a second reader helps to identify areas that need improvement.
Something I thought we might have looked at is the experience that most writers have in the course of their writing careers: the writer’s block. I have had this experience: seated at the computer trying to gather my thoughts and write something but my mind is totally blank and I can’t find anything worthwhile to write. It would have been good to lean how you can unlock the writer’s block and get inspired again to write.
Borges, J., & Levine, S. (2010). On writing. New York: Penguin Books.
Zinsser, W. (2001). On writing well: The classic guide to writing nonfiction (25th anniversary ed., 1st HarperResource Quill ed.). New York: Quill.
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