INTERMEDIATE READING SKILLS
Tuesdays and Thursdays 6:00- 9:20
Instructor: Erin Silveira
Class Description: This course prepares students to read independently at the college level.
Students acquire strategies for improving vocabulary and reading comprehension while
emphasizing both academic reading and reading for studying. In addition to regularly scheduled
class meetings, extra lab work may be necessary to help students attain mastery of vocabulary
and comprehension. The minimal passing grade for developmental courses is a “C.”
Required Text: Intermediate Reading: ENG 091 Custom Edition for Quinsigamond Community
College. New York: Pearson Custom Publishing, 2008.
Course Goals and Outcomes:
1. Develop Vocabulary.
a. Expand vocab by 150 words
b. Use context clues to determine word meaning
c. Use word parts to determine word meaning
d. Use the dictionary effectively
e. Use the SQ3R method
2. Identify the main idea and topic sentence, major and minor details and transitions
a. Define the terms general and specific
b. Identify the topic of a paragraph
c. Identify the stated main idea and topic sentence of a paragraph
d. Identify the implied main idea and central point
e. Recognize supporting details and understand their relationship to the main
f. Use transitions
3. Recognize common organizational patterns to improve recall.
a. Use these patterns to aid in comprehension
b. Use transitional words to understand the relationship within and among
4. Develop effective reading study skills to improve comprehension.
a. Learn systematic reading called SQ3R
b. Use highlighting effectively
c. Make marginal annotations
d. Paraphrase text
e. Use outlining to organize ideas
f. Summarize material
5. Read graphics
a. integrate text and graphics
b. interpret and evaluate graphic and visual sources
6. Develop critical comprehension and reading strategies.
a. Recognize inference
b. Distinguish fact from opinion
c. Recognize generalizations
d. Identify an author’s tone
e. Identify an author’s purpose
f. Recognize bias
g. Understanding figurative language
7. Find and evaluate electronic sources
a. Locate electronic sources effectively
b. Evaluate internet sources
c. Read electronic text
8. Skim and scan text
a. Skim text to get an overview
b. Scan to locate specific information quickly.
Class Organization: This class meets weekly. Each class looks at a new goal, but integrates
previous goals. Between classes, various reading assignments and/ or exercises are assigned by
the teacher. These assignments are usually in the text or otherwise on the computer (My Reading
Lab). There is a mixture of lecture, group work, and independent work assigned.
Attendance: Students are expected to attend every class. If you are going to miss a class,
please e-mail the instructor. You are still responsible for your work. Attendance does affect your
grade. If you are going to miss a class, you may e-mail your assignments to the teacher.
Quizzes: Quizzes will be frequent. Quizzes will only be passed out to those students
present. There will be no make-up quizzes, but the lowest quiz grade will be dropped.
Exams: There will be a midterm exam and a final exam in this course. See the Tentative
Schedule for dates. Exams are cumulative.
Research Project: You will be choosing a topic of your choice to research and present to
the class. More information will be provided in class. The goal of this project is to show that you
can locate and evaluate sources in a library and on the internet, summarize sources, outline
material, and synthesize information into a presentation.
Participation/ Attendance: 15%
Weekly Practice Assignments 10%
Midterm Exam 15%
Research Project/ Presentation 20 %
Final Exam 30%
Late Policy: Late assignments are automatically given no higher than a C grade. Students who
need an extension should speak to the teacher in advance of the due date. The teacher reserves
the right to refuse extensions.
Academic Honesty and Plagiarism (English Department): Our purpose in the classroom is to
seek the truth; this work requires trust and honesty between teacher and student. If we are not
honest about what we know and do not know, our learning will always be impaired. Because our
teaching and learning depends on this honest communication, we expect all students to
understand what plagiarism is and why it is unacceptable.
Plagiarism means taking someone else’s ideas or words and presenting them as one’s own. The
offense can take many forms including cheating on a test, passing in a paper from the Internet or
another student, or failing to properly use and credit sources in an essay. Sometimes the issue is
subtle, involving getting too much help on an assignment from someone else. In every instance,
plagiarism means cheating both oneself and the owner of the source. Since the cheating
sabotages a student’s learning experience, consequences range from no credit for the assignment
to failure for the course and possible expulsion from the college.
Any student considering plagiarism should recognize the consequences and consider alternatives.
Students uncertain about what constitutes plagiarism may request help from faculty or from
appropriate college services. For more information on using sources in writing, see the Academic
Honesty section of the English Department web site: http//www.qcc.mass.edu/English.
In this class, cheating and outright copying will result in a failing grade on
that assignment. Improper crediting or citations of sources will necessitate a
Tentative Schedule of topics and Assignments
This is a general outline that is subject to change based on classroom pace or
Date Topic Assignment/ Homework
Go over syllabus and course tools • Review Chapter One
Analyze Your Learning Style • Mastery Tests 1 and 3. Make
Context Clues: (Chapter One in text) sure you annotate as you read.#3
1-2-1-7 (finish for homework) • Review Vocabulary and chapter
Annotating Text for quiz
Short Story: “The Lottery” • “The Lottery” Annotate and Blog
Review Homework • Review Chapter Two
Chapter One Quiz and • Make vocabulary cards and study
vocabulary quiz for Word Parts Quiz
Pre-reading activity, annotations, and • Mastery Tests 1,2,3 (Chapter 2)
reading of Mastery test 4
Word Parts (Chapter Two)
Word Parts Quiz • Review Chapter Three and vocab
“The Dolphin Affair” • 3.2, 3-9
Divide and Conquer summary method • Mastering Vocab (88): These
SQ3R: Chapter 3 words will be on the quiz
Exercises 3-1, 3-3, 3-5, 3-6, 3-7,
07/22/10 Quiz on Chapter 3/
Vocabulary • Preview and Read Chapter Four
Mastery Tests/ Reciprocal Teaching • Vocabulary
Group presentations/ summaries • Short Story “The Chaser” blog
“The Chaser” responses. Read companion
• Start reviewing for midterm
07/27/10 Discuss stories/ Compare and Contrast • 4-11, 4-12, Mastery Test 2
Chapter Four: Main Idea • Mastering Vocabulary
Exercises 4-1, 4-2, 4-3, 4-4, 4-5, • Review for Midterm Exam
4-6, 4-7, 4-8, 4-10
Mastery Test 1, 3 (annotate)
07/29/10 Review • Read Chapter 5
Midterm Exam • Exercises 5-6, 5-7, 5-8
“Don’t Ask” • Mastery Test 2
• Mastering Vocabulary (171)
08/03/10 Research Project Assigned • Write a paraphrase/ summary of
Vocab Quiz “The Beautiful Laughing Sisters”
on page 180
Chapter Five: Transitions and Supporting • Mastery Test 1, 2,3
Details • Choose topic and read/
5-1, 5-2, 5-3, 5-4, 5-9 summarize one source
• Blog responses to short story
Read Short Story “The Story of an Hour”
and review literary elements
08/05/10 Quiz Chapter 5/ Vocab • Write one paragraph based on the
Jigsaw Chapter Six organizational pattern assigned to
Practice Identifying Organizational your group and one based on a
Patterns pattern of your choice about a
• Exercises 6-1, 6-13, 6-14 topic of your choice. Use a
graphic organizer before writing.
• Mastery Test 1, 2, 3
These will be collected
(see 6-2, 6-4, 6-6, 6-8, 6-10, 6-12)
• Summaries 2 and 3 for project
• Mastering Vocabulary page 221
08/10/10 Work on annotated bibliographies • Project (poster, power point,
Quiz Chapter 6 brochure, or 5 paragraph essay).
“Right Place, Wrong Face” No plagiarism!
Lecture on Chapter 7 Start Studying for Final!
Visuals 7-1, 7-2, 7-3, 7-4, 7-5
08/12/10 Vocab Quiz • Study for final
Project Due/ Presentations • Complete study guide
Survey • Final blog posting
08/17/10 Review/ Final Exam Good Luck and