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How to find the topic of a reading

Explanation of the steps to find the topic in a reading with several demonstration videos

Alice Warner

on 11 September 2013

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Transcript of How to find the topic of a reading

do you find the topic?
a slide show
that explains
and demonstrates the techniques, step by step
Step 1
slide your eyes over the whole reading selection
move quickly
you won't be able to understand each word
that's ok for now - this is just a hunting expedition
underline the common words or ideas in pencil
or, write them on sticky notes in the margin (the white space at the edge of the page)
What to do:
What you're looking for:
repeating patterns in the shapes of words and phrases
If there's no clear winner,
SKIM the reading
IF you can find a clear winner, go to Step 3
IF NOT, roughly re-read, going a little slower
Look for repeating ideas and connections
Now think about what words & phrases mean
You don't need to understand every word
Don't slow all the way down to normal speed, you are still on a hunting expedition
you read
through it at your normal speed
SCAN the reading selection
Step 2
Step 3
Write down the topic you chose
Put it in the margin (white space on the side)
Use pencil or a sticky note
Before you start hunting
visualize your prey
A topic:
is a word or a short phrase
describes the subject of a reading selection
answers the question "What is this about?"
the impact of meditation on brain waves
Warm Springs tribal lands
trade agreements
sustainable dairy farming
leadership characteristics
stress fractures
college success
veterans' benefits
edible Northwest
Step 4
Check your choice
Read each sentence in the selection
Is each sentence about your topic?
Keep working until you have a topic that fits
Write down
your topic choice
Video demonstrations
Basic technique
More video demo's
Intermediate technique
and a fourth
In conclusion
Finding the topic is a skill
that you can only learn by
Now that you know more about it,
do you know why I chose the
colored photo on the
first slide?
More video demo's
Intermediate technique
a third
Video demonstrations
Basic technique
and a second one
Full transcript