After Reading: Evaluating What You Have Read

After reading the article, answer these questions to help you to reflect upon and analyze what you have read.

  1. What is the author’s main argument? Use your own words to rearticulate the main idea.
  2. List and explain the reasons the author provides for his/her main argument.
  3. What kind of evidence is presented to support the author’s argument? Is it fact or opinion? What is the source of the information—does it come from an informed authority in the field?
  4. What is the purpose and tone of the article?  For assistance with "tone," click here for an article about tone and mood and audience (not an ESC site).
  5. Is the author objective, or does he/she try to convince the reader to have a certain opinion? If so, what viewpoint does the author try to convince you of? What reasons does the author provide for choosing this viewpoint?
  6. Does the author’s argument assume that the reader thinks in a particular way or has a particular world-view? What are the major underlying assumptions that the author makes, and do you think they are reasonable and acceptable to most people?
  7. Does the author make“ jumps” or inferences based on his/her evidence? Is the line of reasoning logical?
  8. Does the author try to appeal to the reader’s emotions? Does the author use any loaded words in the headline or the article? List these words and explain their effect on the reader.
  9. Forgetting what the author thinks for a moment, what are your own thoughts and opinions about the issues raised in the article?

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