1 GET AHEAD UNDERGRADUATE SUMMER PROGRAMME 2014 Reading at undergraduate levelSara Steinke
2 Aims of the sessionHow to cope with the large amount of reading expected of youHow to increase your understanding of the reading for academic study - the importance of critical reading skills to enhance your critical thinkingTo recognise the link between critical reading and note making skillsTo consider how to understand your reading lists
3 Common problems students encounter when reading for academic purposes What is meant by reading for academic purposes - are you a smart reader?Reading skills for undergraduate study - SQ3RImportance of reading skills for critical thinkingWriters are not authorities. They are participants in a public exchange of views. Be critical of their work.
4 Common difficulties with reading These are some common difficulties mentionedby undergraduate students. Which of them apply toyou?I read the words on the page but am not taking them in.I spend too much or too little time on the reading.I have difficulty expressing what I have read in my own words.I simply do not understand the material.I find the language used too complicated.I can not remember everything I read.I find the amount of reading overwhelming.
6 Academic reading Non academic reading Reader is:activeselective and interacts with the reading materialhas a particular question in mindre-reads with a purposeReader is:passivereads from page one till the enddoes not ask questionsexpects the author to guide them through the narrative
7 Survey - before you read, survey the entire text, including the table of contents. Read titles, subtitles, introductions and conclusions and review any graphics.Question - write questions for the key points you have identified. Turn heading and subheadings into questions. Ask who, what, where, when and why.Read - read through the text from beginning to end, pausing at the end of each section to answer the questions you have created. Highlight key points in the text as you read, or make brief notes.Recite - answer the questions out loud to reinforce your learning. Make a list of key facts you need to know. Try to stop after each section in the text.Review - reviewing the concepts in the text after you are finished reading and reciting each section, and come back to it periodically over a few days. Summarise difficult passages and rewrite the major points in your own words.
8 Scanning Skimming To get a general idea of the text See what is in the news or on a websiteBrowse through a book to see if you what to read itLook through a television guide to see what is on one eveningFlick through a catalogue to see what is on offerLook through the options on a Google search to see what sites it suggestsTo get particular information from a textLook up a word in an index or dictionaryFind a phone number or address in a directoryCheck what time a television programmes is onLook up details and prices in a cataloguePick out a website you want from a Google search
9 Reading - recap Can you: select and use different reading strategies (e.g. skim, scan, in-depth)?think about what you need to find out before you start reading (are you reading to verify facts, to understand a subject in general or to analyse a particular argument)?critically evaluate reading?deal with new vocabulary?
10 Useful sources (for reading) Cottrell, S. (2008) The Study Skills Handbook, 3rded., (London, Macmillan) Chapter 6 ‘Researchskills’ ppNorthedge, A. (2005) The Good Study Guide(Milton Keynes, Open University Press) chapter 5‘Reading’ pp
11 and effective note making go hand-in-hand Common problems students encounter when note making for academic purposesImportance of note making for critical thinkingNote making skills for undergraduate study -linear notes, mind mappingActive reading (SQ3R)and effective note making go hand-in-hand
12 Common difficulties with notes These are some common difficulties mentionedby students. Which of them apply to you?I try to take down everything that is said/on thePowerPoint presentation in lectures.2. I am unsure what the purpose of note-taking is.3. I am uncertain about how many notes to take.4. I am unsure what to make notes on.5. I do not take time to organise my notes so that I can retrieve them later on.6. I only know one way for note-taking.
13 Note taking is when you are taking notes on material in class; on what a speaker is saying; on what is happening around you. Note making is when you make notes on your thoughts; things you think you should study for, or remember; your own individual thoughts or information that you recall, and want to write down to remember or study.What is the difference between note taking and note making?
14 Importance of note making for critical thinking To focus attention on what you are readingTo help you make sense of what you read/hearTo help you remember the key pointsTo alert you to what you have not understoodTo help you when you are planning an assignmentTo help you when you are revising for examsTo enable you to distinguish between facts, opinion and evidence - critical thinking skills
15 Techniques for linear, sequential notes Make headings and subheadingsList key wordsNumber the pointsUnderline, colour, use capital letters for emphasisUse abbreviations. Examples: = for equal, < less than, > more than, increase, decrease, re regarding, cf compared withOnly use one side of a page in case you want to add moreNote name of authors you want/need to read in margin
16 Techniques for radial, concept notes or mind maps Turn the paper sideways, A3 landscapeWrite the topic in the centre of the pageWrite related ideas around this centreAdd secondary ideas to the main ideasLink up these ideas to show relationshipsUse colours, different line thickness, symbols, picturesAdd details to points as you go along
17 Condensing notes‘Boil’ notes down to essential information. This is often easier to do a few weeks later, because your understanding of the subject has increased. You can see more clearly what is important information and what is not.Note gaps knowledge, confusions and contradictions in the reading or your knowledgeMove from linear notes to conceptual notes (linear notes to mind maps)
18 Organising and storing your notes By systematic from the beginningMake sure you can (re)read them before filing them away - but do not rewrite them ‘neatly’Condensed notes can be copied and filed in at least two different ways:- chronological order (as you go along)- topic order (e.g. in anticipation of an assignment)- personal interest (for your own research later?)Write subject clearly in top right hand corner; number pages; colour code them; index cards
19 Note making - recap Can you: make effective notes when reading? make effective notes when listening (e.g. during lectures)?use more than one note making technique?do you have a way of organising your notes?
20 Useful sources (for note making) Cottrell, S. (2008) The Study Skills Handbook, 3rd ed., (London,Macmillan) chapter 6 ‘Research skills’ ppNorthedge, A. (2005) The Good Study Guide (Milton Keynes, OpenUniversity Press) chapter 6 ‘Making notes’ ppBuzan T. (rev. 2003) Use Your Head (London, BBC)Buzan, T. & B. (rev. 2006) The Mind Map Book (London, BBC )Buzan T. (2007) The Buzan Study Skills Handbook (London, BBC)ahead/skills/notetaking
21 Understanding your reading list Understanding the Library catalogueCiting and managing references
22 Reading listsLecturers give out lists of recommended resources to help you gain a greater understanding of your subjectUse the reading list as your first ‘port of call’ for a topicThese lists include references to:-books-sections of books/chapters-journal articles-web sites
23 Understanding book references Author’s name (surname first)Date of publicationTitle of book, edition if appropriatePlace of publicationPublisher
24 Understanding journal article references Author’s name (surname first)Date of publicationTitle of the articleName of the journalVolumeIssuePage numbers
25 Understanding web sources references Author’s name or company/organization nameDate document was produced or updatedTitle of the documentURL (web site address)Date you accessed the web siteBirkbeck Library (2012) Birkbeck eLibrary.(Accessed: 25June 2012)
26 The Library catalogue This information includes: Use the catalogue to Publication detailsShelf mark (location)Number of copiesLoan lengthAvailability ORLink to access ebookUse the catalogue tofind informationabout:booksebooksDVDsprint journalsejournals - access via eLibrary
27 Citing references: why? To acknowledge the use of other people’s workTo avoid plagiarismSo those that read your essays can see how widely you have readSo those that read your work can see what influenced you to draw the conclusions you did
28 Citing references: how? List all the resources that you have read or consulted at the end of your essay in a bibliographyList the resources in alphabetical order of surnameThere are different ‘styles’ of citing references - be consistentCheck your course handbook for your department’s preferred style
29 Library and IT skills - recap Can you:use the library catalogue and online database efficiently and effectively?undertake research, both primary and secondary?produce documents (essays, dissertations, reports) using Word and Excel?
30 Useful sources (for library) Pears, R. and Shields, G. (2013) Cite them right:the essential referencing guide. 9th ed.Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillanlist
31 Presentations can be found at ntation/get-ready-to-study-at-birkbeck
32 Recap of the sessionDo you understanding the importance of ‘smart’, active reading strategies for academic study?Have you thought about how to use SQ3R to increase your reading speed and comprehension of the material?Are you familiar with the importance of effective note making strategies for academic study?Have you an idea of how to understand your reading lists?Do you feel confident to start using the Library Catalogue?
33 Next session Monday 1 September, 6pm-7.30pm, room 421 Writing at undergraduate level- what makes English academic- style and conventions of academic writing - the writing process- developing your academic writing skills for undergraduate study