Critical reading

There is much more to research than simply gathering sources. If you have been exploring the resources available to you through the library, you may have had the opportunity to evaluate sources in order to determine their quality and their relevance for your research.

  • Make judgements about the text.
  • Reflect about the content of the text and the way it is written. Make an effort to understand not only what is written, but also how the text portrays the subject.
  • Try to understand how the author of the text thinks about the subject matter and compare it with the way you, the reader would think about it.
  • Is the text an objective description of the subject? Or, does the text reflect biases, irony, creative imagination, hypotheses, etc.?
  • If the text is an interpretation (biased, ironical, etc.), what is the standpoint of the interpretation?
  • What is the author's purpose with the interpretation?
  • What kind of choice did the author make when s/he described the subject? In what kind of frame did the author place the subject?

In order to evaluate the source you are reading, you can ask the following questions: 

  1. What is the argument / conclusion / message / opinion of the author?
  2. What is the evidence? Is it up to date? Is the methodology appropriate?
  3. Does the evidence support the argument? Is the text logical?
  4. Is the author biased, does s/he have an agenda?


Last modified: Thursday, 24 June 2021, 1:13 PM