Presentation on theme: "How to Be a Demanding Reader. The Essence of Active Reading: The four basic questions a reader asks What is this reading about as a whole? What is being."— Presentation transcript:
How to Be a Demanding Reader
The Essence of Active Reading: The four basic questions a reader asks What is this reading about as a whole? What is being said in detail, and how? Do you think this article or book is true as a whole or in part? What of it?
Inspectional and Analytic Questions What is the reading about as a whole? Goal: Try to find the theme and the way that the author develops the theme. Methods for answering this question Inspectional reading – look at headings Pigeonholing (theory/practice?) and X- raying techniques
Inspectional and Analytic Questions What is being said in detail, and how? Goal: Discovering the main ideas, assertions, and arguments that constitute the author’s message. Method: X-raying should help you find the main arguments. Analytic reading should help you discover the author’s terms, arguments, the problems s/he is attempting to solve, and solutions s/he suggests.
Inspectional and Analytic Questions Is the this true, in whole or part? Please note that it is not fair to the author to pose this question until the reader can answer the prior questions!
Inspectional and Analytic Questions In order to decide you must: 1.Know the arguments and evidence. 2.Examine the reasoning. 3.Be able to show either the logicalness or lack of it in the author’s work. 4.Be fair! Check for bias both in the author and the reader and make it explicit. 5.Make up your own mind.
The Syntopical Question What of it? Why does the author think it is important to know these things? Is it important to know them in order to more fully understand the subject at hand? How does this reading suggest a need for further enlightenment? What further investigation or problems are implied?
Marking Underlining: Major points or important statements. Vertical lines in the margin: Emphasize important underlining or important passages that are too long to underline. Note: I find it helpful to write a comment next to these underlines that helps me remember why I underlined it in the first place. Stars, asterisks, or some other noticable mark at the margin: Reserve this for the ten to twelve most important statements or passages.
Marking (cont.) Numbers in the Margin: These are best used to identify main points made in developing an argument. Reference numbers in the margin: Help to identify where in the book the author refers to the same or relevant points. “Cf” means “compare” or “refer to.” Cf p. 50. Circling key words or terms: This works much the same as underlining. Writing in the margin or at the top or bottom of the page. Summary statement, questions, responses.
Marking a book Writing in the margin or at the top or bottom of the page. Summary statement, questions, responses. Writing in the endpapers of the book: Use this for your outline of the main points or most significant ideas in the book and perhaps your response to them.
Three kinds of note-making Inspectional—Structural. What kind of reading is it? How is it organized? What is it about as a whole? Make these notes on the table of contents. Analytical—Conceptual. Statements about the truth and significance of the piece. Main concepts, terms, arguments. Make these notes in the end papers. Syntopical. Notes about the relationship between the author’s ideas and other works on the subject. Reference to other passages or ideas of significance on the topic.
How do you apply these techniques? Maintain a reading journal—inspectional reading. Photocopy the Table of Contents of books you don’t own. Make an outline of arguments and main points. Keep a term list with page references. Keep the end-paper notes on a bibliography reference.