Active R e a d i n g Janet Estep Project EXCEL A Federally Funded TRIO Program
Reading Faster Reading faster improves concentration. Average reading rate is 250 wpm. Use of visualization engages the right hemisphere of the brain, increases concentration, and reduces sub-vocalization.
One Writer’s BeginningsEudora Welty
SQ3R Survey Question Read Recite Review
With hocked gems financing him, he defied all scornful laughter that tried to prevent his scheme. “Your eyes deceive,” they said. “It is like a table, not an egg.” Now three sturdy sisters sought truth. As they forged along, sometimes through calm vastness, yet more often over turbulent peaks and valleys, their days became weeks as many doubters spread fearful rumors about the edge. At last, from nowhere winged creatures appeared, signifying the journey’s end.
Question Turn each section heading from the chapter into a brief, simple question. Write the question in the margin of your book. When reading, look for the answer to the question in the material.
Read Read slowly and carefully, one section at a time. Don’t skip unfamiliar terms. After reading, determine the main idea of the section or paragraph. Summarize the main idea with a note in the margin. Highlight the main idea.
The Learning Mystique, Gerald Coles, 1987. Many researchers have concluded that differences in memory performance are “a reflection of different processing, or encoding, operations being applied to information, rather than to different ‘capacities’ of various memory storage systems.”45 Or, simply put, learning-disabled children have problems remembering things not because of a general inability to hold information in their heads or from insufficient memory room but because of the way they process and store information. The LD explanation for memory deficits might be compared to storing food in a freezer: the freezer works fine and has lots of space, but the food will keep and will be easy to get out only if it is wrapped properly and organized well within the freezer. Processing here means the strategies used to memorize information, such as: “rehearsal (repeating items over and over), elaboration (thinking of verbal or visual associations), clustering items by meaningful relationships, or proper apportionment of study time by using the study-test-study method.”46
Recite At the end of each section, say aloud the important points in the material you’ve just read. If this is difficult, you may need to re-read the material. Reciting helps you monitor your comprehension.
Review Review a chapter immediately after reading it. Survey the chapter again. Review any notes in the margins. Re-read what you’ve highlighted. Answer the questions from the “Question” step. Review the chapter before attending the lecture on that topic and at least once before your pre-test review.
Use a Variety of Reading Techniques Learning Skills Center, The University of Texas at Austin
Reading Fiction Read quickly for an awareness of the story’s meaning. Read as many times as necessary to identify the five elements of fiction. (Plot, Character, Point of View, Style, Theme) Make notes from your reading. Highlight key words/passages. Use your book in class to note key points from the lecture. Circle page number or turn down page corners to mark key pages. Use sticky markers. Review lecture and reading notes often. Make study guides.
Critical Thinking & Reading To read with full understanding, you must leap beyond the text. You must analyze relationships and come up with, or construct, your own ideas. --Reading with Meaning, Dorothy Grant Hennings.
Critical Thinking & Reading Apply—Relate ideas to real life. Compare—How are things alike and different. Infer—How do clues lead to new information. Conclude—Why is this important? Why did it happen? What is the overall meaning? Judge—Do I agree or disagree? Is this accurate? Is this good or bad?
There may be such a thing as pure, true history—what actually, really, definitely happened in the past—but it is unknowable. We can only hope to get somewhere close. The history that we have to make do with is the story that historians choose to tell us, pieced together and handed down, filtered through every handler’s value system and particular axe that he or she chooses to grind. --Great Tales from English History, Robert Lacey
Good readers are able to think critically when they read. Don’t be afraid to challenge the author’s viewpoint. Offer independent views in discussions. Approach writing assignments by disputing the author’s viewpoint. Don’t just repeat what the author says. Don’t assume that everything you read is complete, accurate, or up-to-date. Distinguish between fact and opinion.
Useful Web Sites http://www.readingsoft.com/index.html Provides a timed reading test and a comprehension test. http://www.sparknotes.com Provides study guides, many of them free. http://www.utexas.edu/student/utlc/lrnres/handouts.html#stustr Provides information about study skills.
Resources Reading with Meaning, Dorothy Grant Hennings, 1999. Keys to Effective Learning, Carol Carter, Joyce Bishop & Sarah Lyman Kravits, 1998. How to Study in College, Walter Pauk, 1993.