What are some critical and theoretical approaches to the reading of texts?

There's no 'recipe' or simple answer. It would be helpful if you could say a little about the kinds of texts you have in mind. Are you mainly concerned with literary or historical texts, for example, or with other kinds of texts? I'd suggest plenty of critical reading. In that way you can discover how others have read critically. In general terms I'd suggest this: 1. Know the background; know your facts. 2. Be alert. For example, always check (with secondary works) when they were written, so that you are aware of the intellectual fashions and preoccupations of the time. 3. Use your common sense and reasoning abilities. _____________ Actually, there are formal critical theories in literature, and ways of looking at a text. Reader Response, Modernist, Post-Modernist...there are very many. The whole topic is fascinating, and was one of my favorite parts of my time as an English Major... looking at texts in all of those different ways was really an exercise on training yourself to see other perspectives. I loved it. :) I'll include links to some more information on the subject in the Related Links area.