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Overview of the last edition[ edit ] How to Read a Book is divided into four parts, each consisting of several chapters.
The Dimensions of Reading[ edit ] Adler explains for whom the book is intended, defines different classes of reading, and tells which classes will Huckleberry finn essay topic addressed. He also makes a brief argument favoring the Great Booksand explains his reasons for writing How to Read a Book.
There are three types of knowledge: He discusses the methods of acquiring knowledge, concluding that practical knowledge, though teachable, cannot be truly mastered without experience; that only informational knowledge can be gained by one whose understanding equals the author's; that comprehension insight is best learned from who first achieved said understanding — an "original communication".
The idea that communication directly from those who first discovered an idea is the best way of gaining understanding is Adler's argument for reading the Great Books; that any book that does not represent original communication is inferior, as a source, to the original, and that any teacher, save those who discovered the subject he or she teaches, is inferior to the Great Books as a source of comprehension.
Adler spends a Huckleberry finn essay topic deal of this first section explaining why he was compelled to write this book. He asserts that very few people can read a book for understanding, but that he believes that most are capable of it, given the right instruction and the will to do so. It is his intent to provide that instruction.
He takes time to tell the reader about how he believes that the educational system has failed to teach students the art of reading well, up to and including undergraduate, university-level institutions.
He concludes that, due to these shortcomings in formal education, it falls upon individuals to cultivate these abilities in themselves.
Throughout this section, he relates anecdotes and summaries of his experience in education as support for these assertions. The Third Level of Reading: Analytical Reading[ edit ] Here, Adler sets forth his method for reading a non-fiction book in order to gain understanding.
He claims that three distinct approaches, or readings, must all be made in order to get the most possible out of a book, but that performing these three levels of readings does not necessarily mean reading the book three times, as the experienced reader will be able to do all three in the course of reading the book just once.
Adler names the readings "structural", "interpretative", and "critical", in that order. The first stage of analytical reading is concerned with understanding the structure and purpose of the book. It begins with determining the basic topic and type of the book being read, so as to better anticipate the contents and comprehend the book from the very beginning.
Adler says that the reader must distinguish between practical and theoretical books, as well as determining the field of study that the book addresses. Further, Adler says that the reader must note any divisions in the book, and that these are not restricted to the divisions laid out in the table of contents.
Lastly, the reader must find out what problems the author is trying to solve. The second stage of analytical reading involves constructing the author's arguments. This first requires the reader to note and understand any special phrases and terms that the author uses. Once that is done, Adler says that the reader should find and work to understand each proposition that the author advances, as well as the author's support for those propositions.
In the third stage of analytical reading, Adler directs the reader to critique the book. He asserts that upon understanding the author's propositions and arguments, the reader has been elevated to the author's level of understanding and is now able and obligated to judge the book's merit and accuracy.
Adler advocates judging books based on the soundness of their arguments. Adler says that one may not disagree with an argument unless one can find fault in its reasoning, facts, or premises, though one is free to dislike it in any case.
The method presented is sometimes called the Structure-Proposition-Evaluation SPE method, though this term is not used in the book.
Approaches to Different Kinds of Reading Matter[ edit ] In Part III, Adler briefly discusses the differences in approaching various kinds of literature and suggests reading several other books.
He explains a method of approaching the Great Books — read the books that influenced a given author prior to reading works by that author — and gives several examples of that method.
The Ultimate Goals of Reading[ edit ] The last part of the book covers the fourth level of reading: At this stage, the reader broadens and deepens his or her knowledge on a given subject—e. In the final pages of this part, the author expounds on the philosophical benefits of reading: Reading list edition [ edit ] Appendix A in the edition provided the following recommended reading list:Published: Mon, 12 Jun In general, realism can be defined as the aspect of tending to lean towards being factual and practical on matters of life by representing things, actions, or social circumstances in point of fact, without presenting them in their conceptual form and neither without the influence of feelings or other artistic ideas.
Essays A - F.
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Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn contains many topics worthy of a deeper look, especially in the form of an essay. Topics and themes such as morality, family, racism, religion, and freedom, as well as some others, are dealt with in the book, in Twain's own special way.
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