Subject Guides

Critical Reading

Purpose of this guide

This guide will focus on providing an introduction to Critical reading, including: What Critical Reading is, its benefits for students, and various examples of instructional methods. The guide will also provide resources for further explanation or implementation of critical reading into the curricula.

What is Critical Reading?

Critical Reading (CR) is the process of analyzing a scientific paper with the intent to determine the validity, reliability, rigor and contributions to the scientific scholarly conversation of the work done. It is fundamentally an expansion to the concept of information literacy, encouraging further insight into the qualifications and significance of scientific work.

Benefits of Critical Reading

Critical Reading instruction has been found to have many benefits for students including:

  • Ability to identify the author’s intent
  • Ability to identify relevance and significance of results to the initial research proposal, 
  • Understanding the applicability of the findings to academia as a whole and to other works
  • Improved student perception and interest in STEM fields
  • Skills in developing research questions
  • Increased student self-reported confidence in reading scientific literature