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Chapter 1: Reading Actively
Transcript of Chapter 1: Reading Actively
Learn to read actively.
Use strategies for reading textbooks.
Preview before reading.
Activate your background knowledge.
Check & strengthen your comprehension.
Use the SQ3R system.
Use annotation to record your thinking.
Active Reading: The Key to Academic Success
"Reading involves much more than moving your eyes across lines of print, more than recognizing words, and more than reading sentences. Reading is thinking. It is an active process of identifying important ideas and comparing, evaluating, and applying them" (McWhorter, 2017).
Active Vs. Passive Reading
"Previewing is a means of familiarizing yourself with the content and organization of an assignment before you read it" (McWhorter, 2017).
How to Preview Reading Assignments
Read the title.
Check the author and the source of an article and essay.
Read the introduction or the first paragraph.
Read each boldfaced (dark print) heading.
Read the first sentence of each paragraph.
Read the first sentence under each major heading.
Note any typographical aids.
Note any graphic aids.
Read the last paragraph or summary.
Read quickly any end-of-article or end-of-chapter material. *Note-taking guide
Tailor their reading to suit each assignment.
Analyze the purpose of an assignment.
Adjust their speed to suit their purpose.
Question ideas in the assignment.
Compare and connect textbook material with lecture content.
Skim headings to find out what an assignment is about before beginning to read.
Make sure they understand what they are reading as they go along.
Read with pencil in hand.
Develop personalized strategies.
Look for the relevance of the assignment to their own lives.
Engage with the contemporary issues under discussion with an open mind.
Read all assignments the same way.
Read an assignment because it was assigned.
Read everything at the same speed.
Accept whatever is in print as true.
Study lecture notes and the textbook separately.
Check the length of an assignment and then begin reading.
Read until the assignment is completed.
Follow routine, standard methods.
Fixate on memorizing terms and definitions solely to pass the exam or get a good grade.
React emotionally to reading assignments.
Activating Background Knowledge
After previewing your assignment, you should take a moment to think about what you already know about the topic.
Ask questions and try to answer them.
Draw on your own experience.
Checking Your Comprehension
"What happens when you read material you can understand easily? Does it seem that everything 'clicks'? Do ideas seem to fit together and make sense? Is that 'click' noticeably absent at other times?" (McWhorter, 2017).
You feel comfortable and have some knowledge about the topic.
You recognize most words and can figure them out from context.
You can express the main ideas in your own words.
You understand why the material was assigned.
You read at a regular, comfortable pace.
You are able to make connections between ideas.
You are able to see where the author is heading.
You understand what is important.
You read calmly and assess the author's points without becoming too emotionally involved.
The topic is unfamiliar, yet the author assumes you understand it.
Many words are unfamiliar.
You must reread the main ideas and use the author's language the explain them.
You do not know why the material was assigned and cannot explain why it is important.
You often slow down or reread.
You are unable to detect relationships; the organization is not apparent.
You feel as if you are struggling to stay with the author and are unable to predict what will follow.
Nothing (or everything) seems important.
You are close-minded to alternative viewpoints.
Strengthening Your Comprehension
Analyze the time and place in which you are reading.
Rephrase each paragraph in your own words.
Read aloud sentences or sections that are particularly difficult.
Reread difficult or complicated sections.
Slow down your reading rate.
Write questions next to headings.
Write a brief outline of major points.
Highlight key ideas.
Write notes in the margins.
Determine whether you lack background knowledge.
Why Previewing is Effective
Previewing helps you to make decisions about how you will approach the material.
Previewing puts your mind in gear and helps you start thinking about the subject.
Previewing also gives you a mental outline of the chapter's content.
Textbook Aids to Learning:
Preface or "To the Student": Pay attention to organization, topics, and learning features.
Chapter Opener: Find out what the chapter is about and use it to test yourself later
Marginal Vocabulary Definitions: Learn each term and create a vocabulary log
Photographs and Graphics: Determine purpose, note processes, practice redrawing diagrams
Test Yourself Questions: Test to see if you're ready to move on, check your recall of a chapter
Special Interest Inserts: How are the inserts related to the chapter content?
Review Questions/Problems/Discussion Questions: Read them once before reading (preview) and use them after you read to test your recall
Chapter Summary: Convert summary statements into questions
Chapter Review Quiz: Use this to prepare for an exam.
: Become familiar with the overall content and organization of the material using previewing steps.
: Ask questions about the material that you expect to be able to answer as you read.
: As you read each section, actively search for the answers to your guide questions.
: After each section or major heading, stop and try to remember the answer to your question.
: Immediately after you finished reading, go back through the material again, reading headings and summaries.
Use the SQ3R System
for Learning From Textbooks
"Highlighting is an excellent way to improve your comprehension and recall of textbook assignments. Highlighting forces you to decide what is important and sort the key information from less important material" (McWhorter, 2017).
To highlight most effectively, use these guidelines:
Analyze the assignment.
Assess your familiarity with the subject.
Read first, then highlight.
Use the boldfaced headings.
Highlight main ideas and only key supporting details.
Avoid highlighting complete sentences.
Move quickly through the document as you highlight.
Develop a consistent system of highlighting.
Use the 15-25 percent rule of thumb.
"Annotating is an active reading process. It forces you to keep track of your comprehension as well as react to ideas" (McWhorter, 2017).
See pg. 54 in textbook