Recursion involves repeatedly applying a procedure to a set of data, ideas, or a text with each repetition building on the results of the previous one. For example, reading is a set of procedures or strategies to be applied to a text.


Recursive reading would be repeating the reading strategy on the same text two or more times with the intention of gaining a deeper understanding with each repetition. Writing and research strategies are also often recursive in their application.



As you read, you will have a variety of reactions to the text - excitement, confusion, annoyance, etc. Take these reactions as opportunities for further reflection and questioning.


Ask yourself what, specifically, in the text leads you to react in a particular way. The answer can assist you in determining the best strategy for deepening your understanding.

Strategies may include:

rereading for further clarification

revisiting and reworking your original questions. It may help to review what questions you were hoping to answer with the text and where your reading is leading you

elaborating on both your original questions and those that have emerged while reading

Remember that the process of active reading is recursive and, therefore, you are likely to move back and forth between “Question” and “Respond” as you read the text.