Critical Reading & Critical Writing for Three Transition Courses
Our expectation for participants taking any of the three Post-school
Outcomes/Transition courses is that they will use critical reading and critical
writing approaches in their work. The instructors presume that the
participants are professionals and family members who are aware of many of
the issues that impact postsecondary outcomes for youth, including youth
with disabilities. They also assume that participants bring to the course their
own ways of knowing these issues, as identified by Huitt (1998). Ways of
knowing include: (1) reading about issues—in journals, newspapers, or
textbooks; (2) having intuition or a personal inspiration about issues; (3)
knowing something through personal experience, and (4) coming to a
conclusion about something through reason. It is this fourth way of knowing,
which involves thinking logically and critically about the first three ways of
knowing, that we emphasize for your threaded discussions and reflections.
We expect you to be both critical readers and writers, as evidenced by
discussion comments that are thoughtful and reflections that are critical to
the issue at hand. That is, based on what you know, what do you think
about the topic?
Critical Reading: Critical reading means that you are judging or evaluating
the worth of material with an open-mind. This means putting aside your own
biases or prejudices. It also means recognizing the author’s point of view,
intended audience, and tone. When you are reading critically, you are not
only reading to understand the content but also to critically understand and
question the content. When doing critical reading, read to distinguish fact
from opinions, recognizing biases and prejudices, propaganda, fallacies, and
Critical Writing: Critical writing follows from critical reading and thinking.
You should be using the knowledge that you took from the readings, along
with your intuition and personal experiences, to develop and share a critical
reflection of the topic or issue. The written reflection should NOT be a
summary of what you read, but rather your writing should demonstrate that
you have thought logically and critically about the topic or issue.
Drawn from Prince George’s Community College Faculty Members( 2004),The Year of Critical Thinking:
Handbook of Critical Thinking Resources. Located at http://academic.pg.cc.md.us/~wpeirce/MCCCTR/ on August