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ACADEMIC READING Reading for Speed and Content 1.

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Presentation on theme: "ACADEMIC READING Reading for Speed and Content 1."— Presentation transcript:

1 ACADEMIC READING Reading for Speed and Content 1

2 Lecture Structure  The Why and What of Reading  Academic Reading  Scanning  Skimming  Studying  Tips for Success 2

3 Why & What of Reading 3

4 Reading for Research Purposes  Your aim is to maximise comprehension.  Reading is a journey to be absorbed, not a destination to be reached.  Essay writing requires research  How do you tell if a document is relevant?  Do you need to read everything on a subject?  Determine how thoroughly you need to understand a text. 4

5 Academic Reading 5

6 Reading Styles  Researching an topic can return many results.  How do you quickly determine which are relevant and which are not?  Some authors seem to be paid by the word.  How do you short cut overly long articles?  Some texts are only partially relevant.  How do you quickly identify relevant passages?  It is easy to get distracted and stray from the topic.  How do maintain focus on your topic? 6

7 Reading Styles  Scanning – glancing over the text to pick out key words and phrases. Fast.  Skimming – reading selected parts of a text in a systematic way. Fast.  Studying – carefully reading the full text. Slow. 7

8 Scanning Benefits  Enables you to quickly find references to key ideas throughout a text.  Names, statistics, theories, etc.  Aids selection of reference material for research assignments. 8

9 Scanning Techniques  Look through a document, without reading every word, seeking specific words or phrases.  Keeping a visual image of the word or phrase in mind will make it more visible on the page.  Remember numbers can be presented in numerals as well as words. 9

10 Scanning Techniques  Skim long documents first to narrow down areas in which key words or information are likely to appear.  Try reading only highlighted words and phrases (bold, italics, underlined, etc).  Scan vertically as much as horizontally, to avoid reading the text.  When you find a key word read the sentence or paragraph, as necessary. 10

11 Exercise: Scanning 11  Scan this text to find the key themes. What are they?  INSERT A QUOTE FROM A PRESCRIBED TEXT, REFERENCED CLEARLY

12 Skimming Benefits  Quickly review of a document for basic comprehension.  Eases selection of reference material.  May be useful for revision.  Skim to check understanding and recollection of themes.  Study sections that are unclear or weak.  Skim additional texts by particular authors. 12

13 Skimming Benefits 13  Skim the content page or chapter/section headings for bias or tone.  Wording choice for titles is deliberate.  Skim for the main claim and evidence of arguments.  Skim the introduction or abstract for:  The thesis statement.  Limitations  Methodology  Determine if the article is relevant.

14 Skimming Techniques  Title.  Peter B. Evans, 1971. “National Autonomy and Economic Development: Critical Perspectives on Multinational Corporations in Poor Countries” in International Organisation, 25, pp 675-692  First sentence of each paragraph.  A coherent synopsis of the paragraph.  Paragraphs focus on one point.  If begins with a question or anecdote, read last sentence. 14

15 Exercise: Skimming 15  Read the first line of each paragraph in the reading.  Does this provide an overview of the themes of the extract?

16 Skimming Techniques  First and last paragraphs.  Introduction and Conclusion.  Section headings and sub-headings only.  Indicates the content and perspective of the text. 16

17 Benefits: Studying  Enables optimum comprehension.  What else did you expect? 17

18 Techniques: Studying  Scan and skim the document first.  Provides a gist.  Provides questions, for your study.  May enable you to skip sections.  To increase speed when studying  Avoid re-reading sentences.  Avoid subvocalising.  Following the text physically.  Take breaks. 18

19 Technique: Journal Articles  Read the abstract.  Lists the main facts and arguments, methodology used and conclusion.  If no abstract available, read the introduction and concluding paragraphs 19

20 Exercise: Skimming a Journal Abstract 20  From the following journal abstract pull out the thesis statement, any limitations the author will use, the methodology and the conclusions drawn. Does this present a good summary of the piece?

21 Technique: Books 21  Read the dust jacket for relevant content.  Contents page for relevant chapters.  Titles reveal author bias or tone.  Check chapter and section headings and sub-headings.  Read the first and last paragraph of relevant chapters/sections for an overview of content.  Study only relevant chapters, skim the rest for relevant information.  Scholarly book reviews provide succinct synopses.

22 Technique: Reports 22  Check executive summary or foreword.  Review the table of contents for separate chapters on analysis and data.

23 Tips for Success  Avoid distractions.  Skim all documents to get the gist.  Study texts for the greatest comprehension.  Scan documents for small items of information.  Skim reading highlights areas for further study.  Check scholarly book reviews for book synopses. 23

24 24 This presentation is licenced under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 South Africa License. To view a copy of this licence, visit Or send a letter to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California 94105, USA.

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