To read critically, we have to do the following:
One. Comprehend the author's purpose and meaning, which is expressed in the claim or thesis. Rewrite the author's thesis in your own words.
Two. Examine the evidence, if any, that is used
Three. Find emotional appeals, if any, that are used
Four. Identify analogies and comparisons and analyze their legitimacy
Five. Look at the topic sentences to see how the author is building his or her claim
Six. Look for the appeals the author uses be they logic (logos), emotions (pathos), or authority (ethos).
Seven. Is the author's argument diminished by logical fallacies?
Eight. Do we bring any prejudice that may compromise our ability to evaluate the argument fairly?
Nine. Do you recognize any bias in the essay that diminishes the author's argument?
Example: Read "Mellow, Paranoid, Happy, Or Mean" by Brian Palmer.
Know the difference between an argumentative and analytical thesis. Example. Read "How Frozen Took Over the World."
Good example of an argument: "Should Facebook Manipulate Losers?"