How to be a critical reader
How to be a critical reader

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2.2 Preparing to read the two texts

The two texts you are going to read contain some theories and ideas that you might want to understand more about before you read them.

Activity 11

Task 1

The first text is on the subject of anthropathology. This is a new, made-up word from two words originating from Greek: anthro, meaning ‘to do with human beings’, and pathology, meaning ‘to do with sickness or disease’. What do you think the word anthropathology means? Type your answer in the text box.

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You probably worked out that it means ‘the sickness of human beings’. When you read the first text you will understand more about this.

Task 2

The texts contain the following words and ideas:

  • genes
  • survival instinct
  • natural selection
  • evolution
  • survival of the fittest
  • creationists.

How many of them do you know about? Do an internet search to find out about the unfamiliar ones. Also do an internet search to find out more about those you already know something about.


Did you manage to do some research on the words and ideas you will find in the text? If so, you probably found a lot of information on the internet. Today, people talk about genes and evolution across many subject areas. Perhaps you have already encountered these ideas in your area of interest or from your reading.

Task 3

Below are some simple definitions of these words and ideas. Match each definition with the correct word or idea, to check your understanding.

Using the following two lists, match each numbered item with the correct letter.

  1. The fittest beings survive and evolve and the weakest don’t.

  2. A strong instinct that living creatures must survive whatever the circumstances.

  3. A process in which the characteristics of living creatures that make them more likely to survive are inherited. It was originally Charles Darwin’s idea.

  4. The process through which all living creatures develop over time from earlier versions of themselves.

  5. People who believe that God created human beings. They do not believe in evolution.

  6. These are part of the biology of all living creatures. They programme human beings to inherit characteristics from their parents, grandparents and ancestors.

  • a.Survival instinct

  • b.Evolution

  • c.Genes

  • d.Natural selection

  • e.Creationists

  • f.Survival of the fittest

The correct answers are:
  • 1 = f
  • 2 = a
  • 3 = d
  • 4 = b
  • 5 = e
  • 6 = c


We hope that your research and/or your previous knowledge helped you to do this activity.

If the subject of a text is unfamiliar to you, quickly scan reading other texts on the subject before you start can give you an indication of the key ideas and is a good way of preparing to read.

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