Essential Questions For Reading

Essential Questions For Reading

Reading is a skill that you can use to expand your knowledge and improve your life. But if you’re not careful, reading can also be a waste of time and money (and in some cases, it can even be downright dangerous). It’s easy to pick up any random book or magazine and read the words on the page. But if you want your reading to be truly rewarding, then it needs to matter. I’ve asked these questions about thousands of different books over my career as an English teacher—and I’ve noticed that many readers tend to skip these important steps in their own process of becoming literate consumers. So today I’m going to share with you my essential questions for reading anything from Shakespearean drama (“Was this passage funny? Why/why not?”) all the way down to comic books (“How does this artist use color imagery as symbol? Why do they choose blue instead of yellow?”).

What if characters did something else?

One of the most important things you can do when reading is to ask yourself how a story would be different if two or more characters acted differently, or if they made a different choice. In other words, what would happen if they did something else? How would this affect the plot? The message? Would one character still be alive and another dead? Would one character still be in love with someone else and not in love at all? Could a character have gotten away from danger much earlier than he or she did because of a simple decision made earlier on? Would everything turn out differently if that same person had chosen an alternate path at an earlier point in time instead of making his or her choice.

How does the author use this character to get across a certain point of view or idea?

The author may use the character to get across a certain point of view or idea. The author may use the character to show the reader something. The author may provide a historical account through this character. This could be done in order to persuade, inform or entertain the reader

What ideas or beliefs are being expressed in this passage?

In this passage, the author is expressing his point of view about the usefulness of reading and writing. Specifically, he believes that reading is important for both adults and children so that they can learn about different ways of thinking and living. The author also says that writing allows you to express your ideas clearly so that other people will understand what you mean.

What was your immediate reaction to this passage? Why did you feel that way?

  • What is the meaning of this passage and how does it relate to you?
  • What is the author’s purpose in writing this passage?
  • How would you describe the tone of this piece: humorous, serious, sarcastic or something else entirely? Why do you think it has that tone?
  • What do each of these words mean: “susceptible”, “prestigious”, “entrepreneurial” and “cacophony”?

Why do you think the author wrote this passage? Was it to persuade, inform, entertain, convey a particular message, provide a historical account, or something else?

The author’s purpose is always to inform. The author’s purpose is always to persuade. The author’s purpose is always to entertain. The author’s purpose is always to convey a particular message. The author’s purpose is always to provide a historical account. Other reasons for writing include:

  • To share information about yourself or others
  • To express your own thoughts and feelings in an original way

How does the author use literary devices in the passage? What effect does it have on you as a reader?

Literary devices are used to create a specific effect on the reader. They can be used to:

  • Foreshadow future events or reveal information that has not yet been stated by the narrator (or author).
  • Create irony by comparing two seemingly opposite things in order to expose a truth about them both, often with humor or sarcasm. For example, “The sun never sets on the British Empire” shows that despite its greatness, it still has limits like any empire would have had at one time or another.
  • Use metaphor and symbolism as literary devices by comparing two seemingly unrelated things in order to create meaning beyond what they might seem at first glance; this is especially common in poetry because it allows writers to express ideas using metaphors instead of directly stating them as facts which could potentially make their writing boring if done too often

You should ask yourself these questions when reading

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What was the author trying to tell me?
  • How did he or she go about telling me this story?
  • How does this story fit into the larger themes of literature and our world today?
  • What does this book have to say about our society and how we live together as humans?

There are more than 20 questions you can ask yourself while reading a passage, but these should be your first steps in analyzing the text. By asking these questions and writing down your answers, you’ll have a better idea of what your personal preferences are as well as what type of reader you might be. Then you can start exploring other questions that will help deepen your understanding of literature even further!

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