What all criminologists do is to undertake research that enables them to make claims that certain states of affairs obtain. This research is typically published in various books, research articles or reports. It is designed to persuade any reader that what he or she reads can be believed. People who are encountering criminology for the first time need to be able to read and think effectively about what they are reading. They need to pay attention to the techniques of persuasion being used. How is this to be done? We offer here a very simple but robust approach to reading actively by directing attention to some of the key elements found in criminological arguments.