Chapter 1 Artem Samokhvalov/Shutterstock.com The Reading Process Key Terms active reading, passive reading, PAUSE (preread, annotate, understand, summarize, evaluate), topic, main idea, context clues, paraphrase, note taking, graphic organizers 3 4 Part I The Reading and Writing Processes Myimagine/Shutterstock.com Have you ever heard the saying, “If you can read, you can teach yourself anything, especially since everything is on the Internet?” Read Write! Activity 1.1 Look at the image above. What are some things you can teach yourself or learn about by reading information on the Internet? Reading is a powerful skill that you must learn how to do well so that you can be successful not only in college but also in life. Reading well requires practice, practice, and more practice. It also requires active reading versus passive reading. Active reading means that you are utilizing reading strategies to help you remember, understand, apply, analyze, and evaluate what you are reading so that you can create (generate or produce) on a higher order of thinking. In other words, you are not just reading to be able to pass a test or complete an assignment; you are reading to be able to take the information you are learning and improve your life and the lives of others and to discover more about yourself and the world. Passive reading, on the other hand, involves reading the material and hoping that some of it sticks in your memory banks long enough to pass a quiz or exam. Never mind the fact that you are also listening to loud music blaring from your headphones or actually watching the cussing and fighting taking place on a reality TV show instead of reading. You are so focused on getting your degree that you could not care less about learning for the sake of learning. Chapter 1 The Reading Process 5 Read Write! Reflection On the computer or notebook paper, answer the following questions in complete sentences: 1. Do you enjoy reading? Why or why not? 2. Do you consider yourself an active or a passive reader? 3. What are some things you can do to practice active reading? (You may need to include some things you will give up or stop doing when you are reading.) PAUSE PAUSE is a reading strategy that uses the following five steps: Preread Annotate Understand Summarize Evaluate The first letter of each of these key words spells PAUSE. You can use this trick to help you remember the five steps. Preread 1. Is there any information about the author included? If so, read it instead of skipping over it. The information listed will give you some background on the author and the kinds of things he/she writes about. Also, you may consider searching the author online to find out more about him/her. 2. What clues does the title give you about what you are about to read? Does the author use headings or subheadings? These tricks help you figure out the topic of the reading section. The topic is who or what the reading selection is about. Also, by reading these items quickly, they give you clues regarding how the essay or passage is organized. For example, by reading the headings in this selection, you know that the topic is PAUSE and that each of the five steps is discussed in its own section. If there are no headings, then read the first sentence of some of the paragraphs. The main idea—what the paragraph is about—is often expressed in wavebreakmedia/Shutterstock.com The prefix pre- means before. Therefore, when you preread, you do certain things before you actually begin reading material for your college courses to warm up, similar to what an athlete does before running a race. Part I The Reading and Writing Processes 6 3. 4. 5. 6. the first sentence of a paragraph. If the reading selection is arranged in an essay format, the last sentence in the introductory paragraph often expresses the main idea of the entire passage. Does the author include any pictures, charts, diagrams, or other visuals? The author sometimes uses graphics to illustrate or to help explain a concept in more detail. For example, a graphic has been used to illustrate the five steps in the PAUSE strategy. Have any difficult, key, or technical vocabulary words been bolded or italicized in the passage or defined for you in the margin or at the bottom of the page? It will be hard to understand what you are reading if you do not know the definition of certain words. If need be, look up the unknown words in a dictionary. Is the reading long or short? Flip through the reading to determine its length and difficulty. If the passage is long or appears difficult due to numerous unknown words, then you know that you will need to spend more time on it. Are there review questions or a chapter summary at the end of the section or chapter? If there are, then you should read these BEFORE you read the chapter to get an overview of what you are about to read. Annotate racorn/Shutterstock.com After you have finished prereading, you are ready to read the text for the first time. To help you read actively, complete the second step in the PAUSE strategy. When you annotate, you write notes in the margin of the text in pencil, underline or circle key words, define unknown words where they appear in the text, and make connections by jotting down what a particular section reminds you of that you have read before or have experienced. There is no right or wrong way to annotate or mark up a text; the more you do it, you will find what works best for you. Because college material is sometimes difficult, you may have to read something more than once and add more notes in the margins. Your goal is not to race to the end, but to mark up the text to determine the following: What is the main idea of the reading selection? What are the supporting ideas? How is the passage organized? Are there any words that I do not know what they mean? Read Write! Tip As you read, it is very important that you stop and look up any words that you cannot figure out the meaning of by using context clues—focusing on the known words and phrases in a sentence to define unknown words. In chapter 11, you will learn more about context clues and other ways to improve your vocabulary. Chapter 1 The Reading Process 7 Sample Annotation of a Passage Understand Remember the purpose of marking up the text as you read is to have you practice active reading so that you will be able to think critically about a topic and to comprehend or understand what you are reading. To check your reading comprehension, you can pretend you are talking to someone who has just asked you to explain to him/her what you have read in your own words. For example, if you were asked, what “Babies on Onboard: Momma Online” is about, what would you say? A. I have no idea. I did not understand a word I read. B. Well, it’s sorta about this lonely lady who is taking online classes. C. “Babies on Board: Momma Online” discusses the advantages and the disadvantages of taking online courses. However, in the case of Raquel Ramos, a wife and mother of young twins, the advantages of online classes for her right now outweigh the disadvantages. 8 Part I The Reading and Writing Processes In addition to being able to talk through or verbally explain what you are reading, you should also be able to anticipate quiz questions to test your reading comprehension. One trick to do this is to turn the headings and subheadings into actual questions. For example, turning the heading PAUSE into a question would sound like one of these: “What does PAUSE stand for?” or “What are the steps in the PAUSE reading strategy?” The same can be done for the subheadings. If there are not any headings or subheadings, you can turn the thesis statement and the topic sentences into questions. Also, pay attention to information that is covered in great depth, the importance of a section to the overall text, or how much time the author spends covering it. As you actively read, you should ask yourself the following basic comprehension questions to help you understand what you are reading: 1. What does the title tell me about what the topic is about? 2. What do I already know about this topic? How can I relate this information to what I already know? 3. What is the author trying to tell me? What is the main idea? 4. How is the passage organized? 5. Are any headings or subheadings used? 6. What are the supporting ideas? 7. What are the key facts, dates, numbers, or people involved? 8. What predictions can I make regarding what will be covered next or what will happen next? 9. What visual images can I create in my mind or on paper to help me understand the reading passage? 10. How does this passage, article, or chapter fit into the lesson, unit, or course? Read Write! Activity 1.2 On notebook paper or on the computer, answer the ten questions above about “Babies on Board: Momma Online” in complete sentences. Read Write! Activity 1.3 Below are three questions you might ask yourself over the PAUSE reading strategy so far. Answer them to check your reading comprehension. Then, create two additional questions over what you have read so far in chapter 1 about the PAUSE strategy. 1. What is the first step in the PAUSE reading strategy? Chapter 1 The Reading Process 9 2. Name at least three things you can learn about the reading by completing the first step in the PAUSE reading strategy. 3. What is the second step in the PAUSE reading strategy? 4. (You create a question.) 5. (You create a question.) Summarize Summarizing is the fourth step in PAUSE. When you summarize, you create a shortened version of a reading selection that captures the author’s main idea and key points in the order that they are listed. Instead of using the author’s exact words, you should restate some of the information in your own words. Key Information to Include in a Summary You begin a summary by stating the title of the reading selection and the author’s name if they are given. Place the titles of articles, poems, short stories, and chapters in quotation marks, and place the titles of books, newspapers, and magazines in italics. (If handwriting, underline instead of using italics.) Next, list the main idea or the main idea and the key points. In either case, you leave out your opinions, your thoughts, and your reactions to the reading. The reporter’s questions of who, what, when, where, why, and how can be used to help you focus on the key information. However, you are not to answer all of the reporter’s questions each time you summarize material; you will focus only on answering the questions that will help you find the key information. Part I The Reading and Writing Processes 10 On some exams, you may be asked to pick out the choice that best summarizes the information. As you read the choices, you want to select the one that overall captures what the author is trying to say. In other words, select the choice that best restates the main idea or the main idea and any supporting ideas in their original order. You can get rid of any choices that do not do a good job of restating the main idea because they have misinterpreted it, focused on a minor or supporting detail instead, or do not restate the information in the original order. Also, eliminate any choices that contain information that is not stated in the passage or do more than restate the facts. Summarizing helps improve the following: Reading Comprehension As you read the article, passage, essay, or text, you are using the PAUSE strategy to pull out the main idea and the supporting details. Study Skills Turning headings, major information, and key terms into questions reinforces learning and enables you to anticipate quiz or exam questions and identify the main idea. Critical Thinking Skills Since you cannot include everything in your summary, you must sort through information and determine whether it is important or unimportant (relevant or irrelevant). Writing Skills Creating a shortened version of the author’s main idea and supporting details in one sentence or a few sentences without changing the original meaning strengthens your writing. Organizational Skills When including the supporting ideas in a summary, you must restate these in the original order they appear. As you rewrite the author’s key points in your own words, it helps you move Memorization Skills the information from your short-term memory to your long-term memory. Evaluate Creativa Images/Shutterstock.com The last step in the PAUSE strategy is to evaluate what you have read. Of the steps in the PAUSE strategy, evaluating is the most challenging because it causes you to dig deep and think critically about what you have read. In other words, you have to analyze what the author is saying (examine it), reflect on it (think about it), and react to it (decide what you will do regarding what you have read). When you think critically about a reading passage, you ask yourself the following types of questions: Who is the author? Is this person trustworthy, knowledgeable, and credible? Based on what I have read, will I want to read anything else by this author? Who is the author’s primary audience? How well does the author explain the information to the audience? What is the author saying? Are the facts accurate and current? Does the author have a hidden agenda or a bias? Why does the author use that particular format, tone, or word choice? Chapter 1 The Reading Process 11 If I were writing this information, how would I say it? What advice can I give the author to make the writing better, clearer, or stronger? How can I relate what I have read to something else I have read, seen, or learned or experienced? How will I react to what I have read? The three main purposes of writing are to entertain, to inform, and to persuade. Therefore, as you evaluate what you are reading, keep these purposes in mind. For example, after reading a text about a controversial topic, such as global warming, you may question what you can do to help. Did the reading inspire you to recycle and/or reuse your water bottle twice before tossing it into a recycle bin? If you are not inspired, what could the author have done better to show why recycling is important? The goal of good writing is to cause a reaction from readers, whether it is causing them to laugh at an embarrassing moment in the author’s life, to incorporate new reading strategies into their learning arsenal, or to become involved in saving the planet. Evaluating what you are reading transforms you from passive reader to an empowered critical thinker. Evaluating a text is covered more in-depth in chapter 5. Read Write! Activity 1.4 Using the first step of PAUSE, preread the passage entitled “Laying the Ground Work for College Success” on page 13. Remember, you are NOT reading every word of the essay right now; you are warming up or preparing mentally to read. Use the suggestions below based on what you learned from the prereading section to help you. Then, compare your responses with a classmate. 1. Is there an author listed? Is any biographical information about the author included? 2. What clue(s) does the title offer about the reading? 3. Are there any headings or subheadings? If so, what are they? What do they reveal about the topic? 12 Part I The Reading and Writing Processes 4. How is the reading selection arranged or formatted? In other words, is it arranged in the format of a paragraph, an essay, an article, a chart, or something else? Quickly look at the last sentence of the first paragraph and the first sentences of the other paragraphs. What additional information did you gain? 5. Are there any pictures or diagrams? If so, what do they reveal about the topic? 6. Are there any bolded or highlighted words or words you do not know the meaning of? The word parable appears in the opening sentence, and the words foundation and resources appear often. Do you know the meaning of policies, incorporate, crucial, untapped, and clarification? See if you can use context clues to figure out their meanings; look up any words if you need to. 7. Examine the length of the reading selection. Is it long or short? Does it appear to be difficult or not? Chapter 1 The Reading Process 13 1 Are you familiar with the modern version of the parable of the two college students who built their homes upon completely different foundations? One student built her house on strong rocks that were able to withstand the storms of college life, such as reading a 50-page chapter murphy81/Shutterstock.com Laying the Ground Work for College Success in a history course or writing a 10-page paper for a psychology course. She was able to stand firm because she began the assignments immediately upon receiving them, worked on them a little bit each day, and utilized the tutoring center as needed. However, the other student built his house upon sand. Unfortunately, when a major storm came, also known as the midterm, his house collapsed because he had decided to use his financial aid money to buy new athletic shoes instead of the textbook. He had to rebuild from the ground up, so to speak, which in this case meant retaking the course the next semester. What are you building your academic foundation on? Are you building it upon a strong academic foundation that involves attending class regularly, studying, and taking advantage of campus resources, or are you building it upon a weak academic foundation based upon a come-to-class-when-I-can attitude, cramming for exams, and offering excuses? In order to be successful in college, you must make certain that you are building upon a strong academic foundation. Attend Your Classes 2 Although it seems like common sense, not all students understand the importance of attending their college courses. Do you? By attending your classes, you are laying the foundation for success in your courses. How will you know what is going on if you are not there? Professors are not required to reteach material, allow you to turn in missed work, or let you take makeup quizzes or exams. You are no longer in high school; while you were out, the class moved on, and you do not automatically get to make up work. You will need to know each of 14 Part I The Reading and Writing Processes your instructors’ policies regarding late work and making up assignments. Is it a flat out no, a doctor’s note is required, or makeup day is only on February 30? Because a great deal of learning takes place in class, it is best that you attend all of your college classes. Study, Study, Study 3 Besides attending your classes, you must also study. The general rule is for every hour you are in class, you should spend two hours studying. This means that if you are taking 15 hours, you should spend about 30 additional hours studying. What? Yes, again, college is not like high school. You will be given more work to do—reading several chapters a night, composing essays and reports, and working on a group project that requires meeting outside of class time. Cramming the night before will not work in college. Plus, it will not help you lay a strong foundation because you may not even remember the information for the test, much less later on in the next course that builds upon what you learned in the previous one. When you study, you need to incorporate the PAUSE strategy, read the required material before class, take notes over it, try to create possible quiz questions, make connections with the material, and review coursework a little bit each day to move the information from your short-term memory to your long-term memory. If you are assigned an essay to write, do not procrastinate so that you have time to review what you have written, make revisions to it, and participate fully in peer and instructor reviews. Studying requires work, which is what college is all about. Take Advantage of College Resources 4 Although most professors do not take late work, they do want you to be successful; therefore, many make certain that their students are aware of the campus resources available to them. One largely untapped resource is visiting your professor during his/her office hours. During these visits, do not ask, “What did I miss in class while I was out?” Get that information from a classmate. Use this time to get clarification on points you are unclear about. Chapter 1 The Reading Process 15 Another resource is the library. If your professor has put the course textbook on reserve, you can go there and read it while you wait for your financial aid money to come through. The computer lab is another campus resource for students. No longer can you use the excuse, “My computer isn’t working, so I couldn’t type my essay.” The last resource students need to know about and use is the tutoring center. There you can get help with math assignments, have someone review your essay, or drill you over the periodic table. Taking advantage of these resources is crucial. 5 Hopefully, you want to build a strong academic foundation. By attending class, studying, and taking advantage of college resources, you are on your way. Not only will these practices help you to be successful in college, but they will also help you develop habits like showing up, working hard, and taking advantage of resources that will serve you well in the professional world and in your personal life, too. Read Write! Activity 1.5 Go back and thoroughly read “Laying the Ground Work for College Success.” As you read it, annotate as directed below. 1. Define the ten bolded words based on the context (how they are used in this passage) using an online or actual dictionary. Write the definitions above where the words appear. 2. Highlight the main idea and the three supporting ideas. 3. Put circles around key words and phrases that develop the supporting ideas in each of the body paragraphs. 4. Put question marks around areas you do not understand. 5. Briefly summarize what each of the paragraphs is about by writing notes in the margin. (These do not have to be in complete sentences.) 6. Make connections with the reading and jot those down, as well. What are your thoughts about the three suggestions regarding building upon a strong foundation? Do you follow them? 16 Part I The Reading and Writing Processes Read Write! Activity 1.6 Continuing PAUSE, now that you have annotated the text, you should check your understanding or reading comprehension of “Laying the Ground Work for College Success” by answering the questions below. 1. What are the two academic foundations that the essay discusses in the introduction? (List them and include the three specific things for each.) 2. What are two specific things mentioned that happen when you miss class? 3. Why is it important to review coursework every day? 4. What are the four campus resources listed that students should use? 5. (Create an additional question.) Chapter 1 The Reading Process 17 Read Write! Activity 1.7 Now it is time for the fourth step of PAUSE: summarize. Circle the choice that provides the best summary of “Laying the Ground Work for College Success.” a. “Laying the Ground Work for College Success” informs students about three things that they should do in order to have a strong academic foundation: attend class, go to tutoring, and study. These positive actions will lead to success in college and in life. b. In the essay, “Laying the Ground Work for College Success,” the differences between high school and college are discussed. By knowing the differences, students will be more successful in college because they will know what is expected of them. c. “Laying the Ground Work for College Success” highlights three specific practices that students should do in order to have a strong academic foundation: attend class, study, and use campus resources. By doing these things, students will be able to be successful not only in college but also in their professional and personal lives. Read Write! Tip When taking multiple choice quizzes, it is important to be able to eliminate answers in order to narrow down to the correct answer. Read Write! Activity 1.8 Verbally or in the space below, explain why you eliminated two of the answers from Activity 1.7. I was able to eliminate choice because . I was also able to eliminate choice because . I selected choice because . Read Write! Activity 1.9 In the space below, write an evaluation of “Laying the Ground Work for College Success” by focusing on these three questions from the evaluation section. What is the author saying—what point is the author making? Who is the author’s primary audience and how well does the author explain information to the audience? Part I The Reading and Writing Processes 18 How will I react to what I have read? (Does it convince you to follow these practices or stop doing certain ones?) OTHER READING COMPREHENSION STRATEGIES Besides PAUSE, there are additional strategies that you can use to actively read. It is possible that you have already learned some of these strategies and used them in the past. Two of the most recognized are KWL and SQR3. KWL The KWL strategy encourages you to recall what you already Know about a topic, jot down what you Want to learn about a topic, and then state what you Learned after reading. Below is an example of a KWL chart. There is a blank KWL chart located in the appendices. Topic: Knowledge Want Learn What I already know about the topic What I want to know What I learned SQR3 The SQR3 reading strategy consists of five key steps. Survey the material you are about to read; this allows your brain to prepare to learn. This is similar to the prereading step of PAUSE. Chapter 1 The Reading Process 19 Asking Questions helps you to anticipate possible quiz questions so that you are not passively reading. Jot down the questions in the margin or on notebook paper, leaving plenty of room to write your answers. Read to find the answers to your questions, to formulate additional questions, and to learn the information. Use highlighting, a pencil, circles, or your own short hand symbols to record your answers as you read. Recite after reading to verify what you can recall. Put the reading in your own words and pretend you are explaining it to a friend. You may have to reread a section again until you are able to easily restate what you have read. Review the material you have just read by looking at the headings, topic sentences, vocabulary words, highlighted words and phrases, and your margin notes to reinforce what you learned. As you were reading this chapter, you probably noticed similarities among the various reading comprehension strategies discussed here. That is because everything is coming back to the same purpose: to get you reading actively and engaging with the text. Your instructor may ask you to try out a variety of reading comprehension strategies to see what works best for you. This textbook, however, primarily uses PAUSE. How many times have you heard your professor say, “Make certain you are taking notes”? This is your professor’s way of saying that unless you have a photographic memory, you need to have a way to help you retain the information being covered, whether in a lecture or in your textbook. The real question is, “But, what do I write down?” Note taking does not mean writing down everything you hear or read verbatim—word for word. There is no time to do that, and it would be a waste of time because you cannot remember everything anyway. Therefore, you must devise systems for taking good notes. Paraphrasing Paraphrasing is a useful technique for condensing information that you read, listen to, or view. For example, in history class, your professor is using a PowerPoint presentation to show the causes and effects of World War II. You do not have time to write down every word on each slide, so you jot down notes in your own words to help you study and retain the information that was covered on the slides. When you paraphrase what you read, you are essentially doing the same thing—you are writing down the author’s ideas in your own words because you will not have time to reread the entire chapter or chapters before the next test. When you paraphrase or take notes, you do not have to use complete sentences; you can use single words and short phrases. In addition, you may want to use numbers and an outline format, leaving plenty of white space to add additional notes or to add more notes later. Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock.com NOTE TAKING 20 Part I The Reading and Writing Processes Cornell Note Taking Developed by Professor Walter Pauk at Cornell University, the Cornell Note Taking System is one of the most popular methods for taking notes over a lecture, a chapter, a section in a chapter, or other key information that needs to be learned. The first step is to pull out a piece of notebook paper. At the top of the sheet, place the following information: the topic, the date of the lecture or when the information was read, and the course. Next, draw a vertical line about two inches from the left hand margin. During the lecture or while reading, you will write your notes in this large section. Focus on main ideas and supporting details. Do not worry about writing in complete sentences. In fact, develop a short hand for taking notes, using lists, symbols, abbreviations, examples, and pictures. After the lecture or when you have finished reading, go back and add key words and create questions in the right hand column. To help you learn the information, cover the right hand side with another piece of paper; only the left hand side should be showing. Speak aloud the key words and questions that you created to enhance your understanding and your retention of the information. To help you reflect and make connections with the information, go back and add some questions that ask how or why. In the bottom section, write a summary of the information in your own words to reinforce learning. Repeat the covering of the questions and the reviewing of the information daily. Chapter 1 The Reading Process 21 Example of Cornell Notes Topic: PAUSE Date Course Key Points: Terms and/or Questions Notes: Abbreviations, Pictures, and/or Shorthand What is the PAUSE strategy? PAUSE Systematic approach to reading and understanding literature created in 2014 Preread P = prereading What does prereading involve? 1st step in the process—skim literature Read author’s information if provided Briefly look over titles, headings, and subheadings Quickly review charts and pictures Consider provided prereading questions Create personal prereading questions Annotate What does annotating involve? Why is this step important? Understand How can I make certain I am comprehending what I am reading? Summarize What does summarizing involve? Evaluate What does evaluating involve? Summarize the PAUSE strategy 22 Part I The Reading and Writing Processes GRAPHIC ORGANIZERS Graphic organizers help you organize your thoughts and information in reading selections and lectures using visual representations. Sometimes you may gain a better understanding of the material if you see the information formatted using images instead of words. You do not need to be a Picasso or an art major to create your own graphic organizer because the work only has to make sense to you. The purpose of graphic organizers is to help you condense large sections of information into small chunks so that you can process, learn, and study the material. Graphic organizers help you understand the material because you must examine the whole and extract just the most important parts, ignoring or including minor details as you see fit. If the term graphic organizer is not familiar to you, perhaps you can relate it to its writing counterparts used in the prewriting stage, such as clustering, building a pyramid, or outlining, which are covered in chapter 2. In the writing process, graphic organizers help writers to organize their thoughts BEFORE creating their draft. However, in the reading process, graphic organizers are created AFTER reading to help you organize the main idea and supporting ideas about what you have read in a visual format. Some of the most common graphic organizers include, clustering, building a pyramid, outlining, Venn diagrams, pro and con lists, and drawing pictures. Clustering When you create a cluster graphic organizer, you actually draw a circle in the middle of a piece of paper and write the main idea or key phrase about the reading passage in it. Then, you branch out and put each of the supporting ideas in its own circle. If you choose, you can also add additional circles to include minor details for the supporting ideas. Clustering Graphic Organizer Example Attend class Strong academic foundation Use college resources Study Building a Pyramid A pyramid is another form of a graphic organizer. It is well suited for breaking down a five-paragraph essay; however, the parts of the pyramid can be expanded to include more than three main points. The pyramid consists of three sections. The top of the pyramid contains the main idea from the reading. It is a single box. The middle section has boxes that contain the major supporting details. The bottom section is for the minor supporting details. Chapter 1 The Reading Process 23 Pyramid Graphic Organizer Example Strong foundation for academic success Attend class —No makeup work —Not high school —Know attendance policies Study Use campus resources —1 hr class = 2 hr studying —Professors’ office hours —Cramming = no good —Library —Use PAUSE —Computer lab —Don’t procrastinate Outlining Creating an outline graphic organizer is less formal than the one created for writing. Readers can use paraphrasing, short phrases, and words to illustrate the main idea and the supporting details. In addition, minor details may also be added. Outlines may either be typed or handwritten. Part I The Reading and Writing Processes 24 Outlining Graphic Organizer Example “Laying the Ground Work for College Success” Three practices for a strong academic foundation (Main Idea) 1. Attend Class (Supporting Detail) —will know what is going on —if absent, may not be able to turn in work or take quizzes/exams 2. Study, Study, Study (Supporting Detail) —2 hours per every class —avoid cramming —use the PAUSE strategy —always read material before class —create possible quiz questions —begin essays right away; do not procrastinate 3. Take Advantage of College Resources (Supporting Detail) —professors’ office hours —the library —the computer lab —the tutoring center Venn Diagrams A Venn diagram graphic organizer uses intersecting circles to show the similarities and the differences between two or more things. The similarities between things are placed in the intersecting sections of the circles, and the differences are placed in the non-intersecting sections of the circles. Venn diagrams are often used when writing a comparison-contrast essay or when wanting to highlight similarities or differences between two things. Chapter 1 The Reading Process 25 Venn Diagram Example Smartphone Camera Email pictures immediately More megapixels Take pictures Can upload immediately Zoom in Video Can use editing apps immediately Flash Can use different lenses Must upload from camera Pro and Con List Graphic Organizer A pro and con list allows readers to sort information into one of two columns: either pro (for) or con (against). To create a pro and con list, draw a line down the center of the page. Then, label one side “pro” and the other side “con.” Then, list the reasons the author is in favor of something on the pro side and the reasons against something on the con side. Below is a pro and con list for “Babies on Board: Momma Online.” Pro and Con List Example Pros (Reasons for taking online classes) Cons (Reasons against taking online classes) Can take tests at any time Must be self-motivated and disciplined Do work in pajamas Must follow calendar or will get behind Do not have to drive to campus Cannot procrastinate Take tests when ready Must set time to do work or will fail Get instant feedback on tests Lack of face to face interaction Can email Instructor questions with classmates 26 Part I The Reading and Writing Processes Drawing Pictures Drawing pictures can simplify note taking by creating a visual representation of a concept or key information. If drawing is not your forte, you can cut out a picture or download one from the Internet. Below is an example of drawing pictures when taking notes on how cloud computing is simplifying the storing and retrieving of data. This particular concept is more easily understood as a picture than as something written. Drawing it in your notes makes the information more accessible. yukipon/Shutterstock.com Drawing Pictures Example Read Write! Tip If you access the Internet and type in “graphic organizers” in a search engine, numerous options will appear, ranging from the ones above to charts for keeping track of characters in a novel. Then, you can copy and paste the one that fits your needs for a particular reading. TWO WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR READING SKILLS The Nike slogan “Just do it” applies to you improving your reading skills, too. The only way to get better at something is to practice and then practice some more. Below are two specific things you can do to become a better reader. 1.Read every day for at least 20 minutes. Committing to read every day will help you practice many of the strategies you have learned in this chapter. For example, if you are reading a novel, you can try to predict what will happen in the next chapter. If you are reading an online newspaper, you can try to answer the reporter’s questions of who, what, when, where, why, and how. It does not matter what you read. For example, it could be a magazine or an autobiography or a biography about someone in the field or industry you would like to go into. Make certain that this reading is in addition to what you are assigned to read for your college classes or your job. You Chapter 1 The Reading Process 27 can even make reading a family affair by going to the local library and having everyone choose a book to read. 2. Practice reading aloud. This skill is very important to learn because it helps with your ability to understand what you are reading. Paying attention to the punctuation that is used in a sentence will help with your comprehension and how you read it aloud. For example, you are to pause at commas, stop at periods, and change the inflection of your voice when you read a question mark or an exclamation point. If you record yourself reading aloud at this point in the semester and then again at the end, you will be amazed at how much better and with more fluency (smoothly) you read aloud. As you utilize the strategies in the reading process, you will strengthen your reading comprehension skills, which is one half of the goal of this textbook. The other half, strengthening your writing skills, is addressed in the next chapter. Read Write! Review Questions: The Reading Process 1. Define active reading and passive reading. 2. List and paraphrase the five steps in PAUSE. 3. What are context clues? 4. What is the purpose of graphic organizers? 5. How long should you read every day?
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