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THE READING PROCESS Chances are, most of you have been reading for as long as you can remember.

Whether you read books or magazines, recipes or instructions, newspapers or notes from you friends, each day you are constantly using the reading skills you have developed thus far and applying them to your everyday lives. When you first began to read, the stories and books you read were very simple. Since then, as your reading skills have improved, the materials you read have become increasingly more difficult and complex. In the same way you have progressed in what you read, you are now at a level in which it is important to progress in how you read. We read for many different reasons. hrough literature, our minds are opened to an endless array of different times, places, people and attitudes that we would never in our wildest dreams be able to experience in person. !xperienced readers go through a specific process each time they read. his process, known as the reading process, helps the reader to better understand what he or she reads. Conse"uently, if you understand more, the more likely you are to en#oy reading. he reading process involves three stages$ literal, interpretive, and critical reading. In the first stage, literal reading, the reader focuses on the author%s words. It is at this level that particular attention is paid to the who &the characters' the where &the setting' and the what &the events that make up the plot'. hrough (reading the lines), the reader focuses on the words of the story to understand what the characters do. *sing reading skills like predicting and as ing !"estions as you read will increase the chance that you will focus on key details. +eing an alert reader during the literal stage will help you to move on to the second stage of the reading process, interpretive reading. Where at the literal level you need to carefully (read the lines,) or draw conclusions about the plot or the actions of the characters, the interpretive reading re"uires a reader to read (between the lines.) Some of the best clues for helping the reader interpret the story include the title, the #ood the author has created, and any literar$ devices used such as %lash&ac , %oreshadowing, and s$#&olis#' his is also the stage of the reading process in which you should begin making assumptions about the the#e of the story, or the message the author is trying to convey. ,ere, you should begin asking yourself "uestions like (What is the purpose of this story-), and (What is the author trying to tell me about human nature-) he interpretive stage is more difficult than the literal stage, but it is truly a step toward

applying the wealth of knowledge and information that literature has to offer to your own life. .nce you have interpreted to theme and finished reading the story, you are then ready to enter into the third and final stage of the reading process, critical reading. ,ere you are asked to apply your own knowledge and awareness of life and compare it with the author%s view of theme. /uring a critical stage a reader should be reading (beyond the lines.) 0t this point, you should begin asking yourself "uestions like (/o I agree or disagree with what the author is trying to say-), and (What does this story have to do with my life and the world around me-) his is by far the most difficult stage of the reading process where you may hopefully gain some self1awareness and personal growth. 2iterature has so much to offer us about the world around us. hrough reading critically, we are able to examine our lives and discover what we as individuals can do to change and improve the world we live in.

(iteral 3uestions to ask when you read the first and literal time. W,.- Who are the charactersW,0 - What is the general plotW,!4- When does the story take placeW,!5!- Where does the story take place-

Interpretive 3uestions to ask when you skim and read deeper time to interpret what the author is saying. W,6- What is the point the author is trying to makeWhat hidden ways is he7she using&literary devices' 820S,+0C98.5!S,0/.WI4:S6;+.2IS;,!;!S. ,!5S-

Critical 3uestions to ask when you think about the work and (criticize) it. ,ow well does the author make his7her point/o you agree or disagree with this message,ow does this story connect to meWhat perspectives change the story%s message-