The primary goal of active reading is to profit from reading — that is, to come out of the reading having gained an understanding of what the author is writing about.
In general, the act of active learning requires asking questions, specifically the following questions:
- What is the book about? What is the theme? What general topic is the author trying to convey?
- What is being said in detail, and how? What are the main ideas and arguments that the author makes?
- Are the author’s claims true? Just because it’s in a book doesn’t mean that the author’s points are valid. The contents of the book reflect the author’s mind, but it is up to us as readers to make up our own mind.
- So what? What’s so significant about what the author is saying? Why should we care, and why should we spend our time reading and thinking about the contents of this book?