The 'principle of charity' has been considered of great importance especially in scholarly communication. It is not very clear, nonetheless, how the principle can be implemented, even in simple context of studying philosophy and writing philosophy:
When reading this or that paper, how can one know she does not misinterpret the author's statements, especially in cases when the author does not write in an analytic style? When we read somebody's text we read it always based on our own intellectual-context, and thus necessarily we understand what we read through such personal perspective. So, however we would understand this or that text, it would always be sort of an interpretation which might not fare well with the author's intentions.
Are there nevertheless any rules of thumb by which to increase chance that when reading this or that philosophical text we do not unknowingly twist it to fit our intellectual-associations and background-knowledge?
Another related question: it is recommended by the principle of charity to ascribe as much a rationality as possible to author's statements - but what if an author displays irrationality intentionally?