STRATEGIES FOR EFFECTIVE READING

Think back over the last couple of weeks. We all read various materials on a daily basis: Think about road signs, receipts, cereal boxes, texts, social media posts, product descriptions, magazines, letters, emails, books, etc. What piece of reading had the most impact on you recently, whether it was positive or negative?

In one substantial paragraph, describe the piece of reading content you chose above and its content. Then, in another substantial paragraph, analyze the piece: What made it so important or engaging to you? Why did it matter to you? Did you fully understand it? Were you able to apply it in your life, and if so, how?

Submit your paragraph as part 1 of the submission for this week below.

DIAGNOSTIC PRETEST

Take this Reading Comprehension Quiz: https://spscc.instructure.com/courses/1345787/quizzes/2404742

Review the questions you got wrong. For each one you missed, attempt to choose the correct answer and try to determine what contributed to your mistakes.

STRATEGIES FOR EFFECTIVE READING

Read these tips for reading efficiently and effectively at the college level:

1. Find a quiet space, silence your phone, and concentrate.

2. Consider the context. Why has this reading been assigned, and/or what will you use it for? This information will help target your reading so you can find what’s important.

3. Convert the title and subtitles into questions. For example, “Buster’s Day at the Farm” becomes “What did Buster do at the farm and what was important about that?” This framework often works pretty well: What is (insert the topic) and what is important about it? The title and subtitles provide “signposts” to guide the reader to what’s important, and this technique will allow you to take advantage of that.

4. Find the topic and the main idea. What is the text generally about, and what does the author have to say about the topic? The main idea is usually about one sentence long. It is often stated in a thesis statement that can be found at the beginning and end of the piece. If you understand the main idea, you will be better able to understand the importance of all the other information and prioritize what to focus on.

5. Skim first. Think of skim milk. Skimming off the fat is a way of getting rid of what you don’t need. Skimming when you read also refers to moving your eyes quickly across the pages without setting. The purpose of skimming is to understand the overall structure and type of piece you are reading. There may be whole sections that are unimportant to my purpose for reading and might be skipped altogether. Be careful, though—you wouldn’t want to skim off something you actually need! After skimming, go back and read more carefully, focusing on essential passages.

6. Target what’s important by varying your reading speed. Watch Improving Reading Comprehension (link: https://www.lynda.com/Higher-Education-tutorials/Improving-your-reading-comprehension-through-speed-variability/372920/426619-4.html?org=stratford.edu)

7. Take notes. After each paragraph, write down brief answers to these questions: What was the point of that paragraph and what was its purpose in the overall piece? What information is helpful to my purpose for reading this piece?

8. Explain the information to someone else, focusing on what’s most important. The best way to solidify information in your mind is to articulate it to others.

ASSIGNMENT

Pull out at least three pieces of information from the above resources that you found helpful and can apply to your reading process moving forward. For each piece of information, explain what you find useful about it and how you plan to apply it, in complete sentences (1-3 sentences per tip).

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