The five types of reading comprehension are lexical, literal, interpretive, applied and affective. Each type is important in helping readers truly understand the meaning of text.
Lexical comprehension centers around the understanding of key vocabulary words found in the reading material. Literal comprehension focuses on answering the who, what, when and where of the story, while interpretive comprehension prompts a reader to wonder "What if" or "Why?"
With applied comprehension, the reader uses background information to form opinions. When readers understand the emotional and social aspects of a story, they are utilizing affective comprehension. Without this type of comprehension, readers can easily get lost in the words and fail to understand the plot.