Reading StrategyIntroductionBefore beginning to read any text - a book, a magazine or journal article - you should ask yourselfthree questions • What am I reading about ? • Why am I reading ? • How am I reading ?Example: Reading a history book.What : World War II.Why : Looking for the causes of the warHow : From the first word to the last word.Many students are only familiar with from the first word to the last word strategy. The other strategiesthat can be used for understanding a text - a book, a magazine or a journal article - are 1. Overviewing a passage 2. Understanding the main point 3. Understanding relationships in passages 4. Checking references 5. Finding the information we need 6. Guessing the unknown wordOverviewing a PassageBy overviewing a passage, we should know 1. The Topic : What is the passage about ? 2. The Writers purpose : Is the writer, for example, describing a process, making a comparison, giving recommendation ?We do this strategy by 1. Reading the tide and headings to understand what the passage is about. 2. Looking at the titles of any diagrams, tables, graphs and illustrations.In this strategy, we need not 1. Read word by word. 2. Follow the text with our finger or a pen. 3. Worry about words we do not understand.
Whether we are overviewing a book, a magazine or an article, we should never take more than twominutes.Understanding the main pointOne paragraph contains one main idea; and we can find this main idea in a SUMMARY SENTENCE.The summary sentence is frequently, though not always, the first or the second sentence of theparagraph. To understand the main points of a passage, we should LOCATE and UNDERLINE THESUMMARY SENTENCE IN EACH PARAGRAPH.The other sentences in the paragraph expand, illustrate and/or explain this main idea.Understanding relationships in passagesThere are relationships in words and phrases in a sentence; between the sentences in a paragraph andbetween whole paragraphs. Understanding and recognizing these relationships helps us read moreeffectively.Some of the most common types of relationship linking ideas in passages are 1. Addition : Using and, as well, in addition to, besides, also, another, the other, first,second etc. 2. Consequence : Using cause, lead to, result in, as a consequence, consequently, therefore, hence, as a result. 3. Sequence : Using then, afer, later, until, when, before. 4. General and Particular : Using such as, e.g., for example, for instance. 5. Contrast/comparison : Using but (not), as opposed to, in contrast, on the other hand, however.Contoh : 1. A cactus does not need very much water, ADDITION In addition, it is well adapted to high temperatures. 2. Changes in temperature break rocks into pieces. SEQUENCE Then the wind blows the pieces away. 3. Temperatures in deserts are extremely high during the day. CONTRAS However, at night they are often very low.
4. There is very little rainfall in deserts. CONSEQUENCE Therefore few plants can live there.Checking ReferencesIn a set of statements, some of the words in one sentence are often repeated in other sentence. Inpassages, we try not to repeat words very often. We can refer back to words used in other sentences,This relation is called reference.Study this short passage and notice the use of reference. This use of reference is shown in the diagram.Deserts are very dry regions. They have very little rainfall. Few plants live there. Some specializedanimals do. Some deserts have a surface of sand. The sand often forms dunes. These are created bythe wind. Others have stones or rocks. Deserts are very dry regions. They have very little rainfall. Few plants live there. Some specialized animal do Some deserts have a surface of sand. The sand often Forms dunes. These created by the wind. Others....... have................. stones rocks. Others deserts have surface of stones rocks.In order to read efficiently we also need to be able to understand the way in which words can refer toother words in a passage.Finding the information we needWhen our objective is to extract specific information, we should use the following strategies 1. Focus on our objective, ignoring irrelevant information. 2. Look in likely places. Knowing the organization of the text will help to decide which parts of the text are more likely. 3. Run our eyes rapidly over the text, looking for words and phrases associated with the target information. 4. Use print style to help us, such as names, numbers, italics, bold.Remember that the information we need to locate may be expressed in different forms.Guessing the unknown wordsIn any comprehension text you will find words that you dont know. You can look them up in adictionary, of course, but its a good idea to get into the habit of doing without a dictionary as much aspossible, particularly if you are preparing for an examination. In fact, if you read the text carefully and
think, its usually possible to guess the meaning of most of the words that you dont know.Look at the context of each word-the sentence that its in, and the sentences that come before andafter. Look to see if the word is repeated later in the text; the more often its used, the easier it is tounderstand.Dont expect to be able to guess all new words in a text. There will be some that you can only get avague idea, and a few will be impossible. Dont waste too much time worrying about these; the mostimportant thing is to understand the text as a whole as well as possible, and one or two difficult wordswont usually make much difference.