How Critical Are Reading Techniques Helpful for PhD Thesis?

Oh, are you afraid of PhD research?It only asks you to use your own mind and creative approach rather than using someone else words. It is normal; coming out with a well-defined perspective, especially on a scientific problem, is a bit difficult if you are not aware of the critical reading techniques. Yes, being critical is the best technique to analyze, synthesize, or appraise the present information to lay the foundation of your own PhD research on concrete evidence. Thereby, today we have decided to help you be critical in PhD thesis by knowing the ways to master critical reading techniques.

What Makes The PhD Research Challenging, And Which Role Is Played By The Critical Reading Techniques?

Research is the process of seeing behind the wall to find something that no one else has seen before. If you are looking through someone else’s glasses at undergraduate and even graduate-level research, it is fair enough. But the same act cannot be done to see a situation for a higher level of research. Regardless of the discipline, a PhD demands you to come out with a unique idea to solve a problem under study. The most interesting thing about this research degree is you cannot earn it by becoming your tutor’s pet; rather, you must insist your audience believe your words. Lots of struggle, effort and determination are required so your audience can mark your words. But using critical reading techniques, one can easily subdue all PhD research challenges.

What Are Critical Reading Techniques?

Critical reading techniques restrain students from just superficially reading scholarly text. Instead, it urges them to apply their own knowledge, models, theories, and even research questions to better interpret the provided facts. Mostly, the technique emphasizes reviewing the situation from all possible sides ­(merits, demerits, pros, cons, strengths and weaknesses).

Let’s take a common-world example. Have you ever seen a goldsmith evaluating the purity of a given piece of gold? If yes, that’s great, as you will easily understand this point. Actually, critical reading techniques play the same role as played by goldsmith’s magnifying glass in evaluating the quality of the provided piece of god. It helps to see a situation from all possible dimensions before making a final decision. Simply, critical reading techniques guide you to not only skim through literary tasks but synthesise them before moving on to the text piece. Or, it is simply the act of knowing what the writer wants you to understand.

What Are A Few Simple Techniques To Master The Critical Reading?

Readings something to pass your time or reading to add new information to your existing knowledge bank are entirely different scenarios. The former needs you to stay calm, or even the preoccupied mind will never affect your reading activities. However, the case is not the same in the latter scenario. One needs to be a bit more attentive while reading something for the sake of conducting research when writing a PhD thesis. Thus, the following are some ways of critical reading techniques that will be of great help to the PhD scholar.

  1. Conduct a survey: The first step in critical reading must be to conduct a survey. But what type of survey you must conduct matters a lot. Hereby, a survey simply means the act of knowing what you are really looking for. Suppose you are unaware of your purpose of reading or conducting research, then critical evaluation of the fact under study cannot be performed. Thus, before opening any file or document for reading, you must conduct a short survey to know about your research goals.
  2. Ask questions: You must ask questions; we are listening to this sentence from early childhood. But only a very few of us know the reason behind this lesson.  Thus, just before opening the reading source, you have to ask questions about the title and objectives of the sources you are going to read. Questions will allow you to find answers and get the best out of the reading source.
  3. Try to see the situation from the writer’s perspective: In doctorate research, you are expecting to collect information for solving a critical issue by reviewing what has been reported by other researchers. So to know what others said, you should read keenly about the writer’s perspective only; later on, it will be helpful for critical evaluation.
  4. Make notes: Everybody has his own style for taking notes, and mostly no one can understand someone’s notes other than the one who made them. No matter how untidy or messy the notes you created, if it makes you aware of all the latest writing trends or theories, then it will be okay to use them. Remember, notes taking are necessary to improve your understanding, or it is really helpful as a critical reading technique, even though you can use any types of notes that make you conformable.
  5. Record key concepts:  Stop before starting your research plan and revise what are the key concepts that you have read so far. Once you feel all key concepts are at your fingertips, then you can start using this information to solve your Ph.D. research problem.

Concluding Sentences:

In a nutshell, PhD research requires you to not just skim the text; however, a detailed analysis of the provided information is foremost important to stand out. Moreover, for detailed analysis, one needs to critically evaluate the information, which always starts with the process of critical reading. Actually, reading is always the very first step of the research; thus, the article has provided a detailed account of using critical reading techniques. Hopefully, the provided information will be very helpful for you in completing a doctorate-level research project.

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