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Chapter 7
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CHAPTER 7

Reading Strategies

 

PREVIEWING

 

The purpose of previewing is to get the “big Picture,” to understand how what you are about to read is connected to what you already know and to the material the instructor is covering in class.

 

Look at the Title of the Chapter.  Ask yourself, “What do I already know about this subject, if anything”? 

 

Next look at the introductory paragraphs, then read the summary at the beginning of ending of the chapter (usually there is one at either of these places).

 

MAPPING

 

Mapping the chapter as you preview it provides a visual guide to how different chapter ideas fit together.  Because about 75 percent of students identify themselves as visual learners, visual mapping is an excellent learning tool for test preparation as well as reading.

 

Two examples of mapping given in your test are:

 

        Wheel Map (In wheel mapping, place the central idea of the chapter in the circle.  Place secondary ideas on the spokes emanating from the circle, and place offshoots of those ideas on the lines attached to the spokes.

 

        Branching Map (In branch mapping, the main idea goes at the top, followed by supporting ideas on the second tier, and so forth.  See example below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MARKING YOUR TEXTBOOK

 

Most of us like to mark our text as a means of denoting things that have been discussed and that may be important to remember.

 

Some students underline, some prefer to highlight, and others use margin notes or annotations.

 

No matter what method you prefer, remember these two important guidelines:

 

        Read before you mark

        Think before you mark

 

 

READING TO QUESTION, TO INTERPRET, TO UNDERSTAND

 

 

Regardless of your reason for reading, the important thing is to monitor your comprehension of what is being read.  As you read ask yourself, “Do I understand this”?  If not, stop and reread the material.  Look up words that are not clear.

 

Ordinarily, when good readers come to a sentence that is difficult or confusing, they slow down and reread the sentence or, if necessary the whole paragraph.  Poor readers tend to read at their same speed for both easy and difficult materials.  For obvious reason, poor readers are less likely to understand what they have read.

 

 

RECYCLE YOUR READING

 

 

After you have read and marked or taken notes on key ideas from a section, proceed to the next sequent session until you have finished the chapter.

 

After you have finished one section and before you move on to the next section - ask again, “what were the key ideas?   From this information what might I see on a test”?

 

REVIEWING

 

 

The final step in effective textbook reading is reviewing.  Many students expect the improbable   - that they will read through their text material one time and be able to remember the ideas four, six, or even twelve weeks later at test time.  “WRONG”

 

More realistically, you will need to include regular reviews in you study process.   Here is where your notes, study questions, annotations, flash card, visual maps, or outlines will be most useful. 

 

Your goal should be to have in place a procedure that will allow you to review the materials from each chapter every week that does not require you to reread all the chapters in its entirety again.

 

 

ADJUSTING YOUR READING STYLE

 

 

With effort, you can improve your reading dramatically, but remember to be flexible.  How you should read depend on the material.  Assess the relative importance and difficulty of the assigned readings. 

 

Connect one important idea to another by asking yourself, “Why am I reading this?  Where does it fit in”?

 

It takes a planned approach to read textbook materials and other assigned readings with good understanding and recall.  With the correct approach, you can be successful.

 

 

DEVELOPING YOUR VOCABULARY

 

 

Textbooks are full of new terminology.  In fact, one could argue that learning a discipline (whatever the discipline might be) is largely a matter of learning the language and mastering the terminology of that discipline.

 

If words are such a basic and essential component of our knowledge, what is the best way to learn them?

 

Here are a few basic vocabulary-building strategies:

 

        During your overview of the chapter, notice and jot down unfamiliar terms.

 

        When you encounter challenging words, consider the context.  See if you can predict the meaning of an unfamiliar term using the surrounding words.

 

        If context itself is not enough, try analyzing the term to discover the root, or base part, or other meaningful parts of the word.  For example, emissary has the root “to emit” or “to send forth,” so we can guess that an emissary is someone sent forth with a message.  Similarly, note prefixes and suffixes.  For example, anti- means “against” and pro – means “for”.

 

        Use the glossary of this text, a dictionary to locate definitions.

 

        Take every opportunity to use the new terms in you writing and speaking.  If you use the new term, then you’ll know it!

 

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