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Chapter 1:Acquiring the Keys to Academic Success

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1 Chapter 1:Acquiring the Keys to Academic Success
From this chapter, you’ll learn about SQ3R, a tested and flexible system for reading textbooks. why paraphrasing is critical to understanding and remembering what you read. why summarizing should be part of your tool box of academic skills. how the World Wide Web can help you get the background knowledge you need. copyright Laraine Flemming 2012

2 Using SQ3R: A System for Studying
SQ3R stands for Survey the chapter to get an overview. Question to focus concentration. Read to answer the questions. Recall to test your understanding. Review to see how all the sections or pieces fit together. copyright Laraine© Flemming 2012

3 Step 1:Surveying to Get an Overview
To survey, read the following: Title and Introductory material Headings and opening sentences of chapter sections Visual aids such as pictures, charts, graphs, tables, highlighted words, and marginal notes End-of-chapter summaries and questions copyright Laraine© Flemming 2012

4 Survey Goals The Four Goals of a Survey Are
to get a general overview of the material. to determine how difficult or easy the text might be to read. to get an idea of what’s important. to determine how many study sessions it will take to read the chapter. copyright Laraine Flemming 2012 Copyright Laraine Flemming 2012

5 Step 2: Ask Questions for Focus
Using questions to guide your reading can help you remain mentally active while reading. maintain your level of concentration. keep you alert to key passages in the chapter. copyright© Laraine Flemming 2012

6 copyright© Laraine Flemming 2012
How to Form Questions Your questions can be based on headings, key words, pictures, or graphics in the chapter. comparisons to other writers on the same subject. your own personal experience. copyright© Laraine Flemming 2012

7 copyright© Laraine Flemming 2012
Step 3: Read in Chunks When you read a textbook, remember to read it in chunks of no more than 10 or 15 pages. write or diagram while you read. periodically paraphrase, or sum up in your own words, what you have just read. vary your assignments, especially if you are studying for more than an hour. copyright© Laraine Flemming 2012

8 copyright© Laraine Flemming 2012
A Word to the Wise There is a lot of new research about studying coming out of cognitive science* laboratories. Some of it confirms what people have said for years. Some of it contradicts long held beliefs. Here’s what’s been confirmed: *cognitive science: the formal study of how we think, learn, and remember copyright© Laraine Flemming 2012

9 Distribute Reviews Over Time
When it comes to remembering, Distributed Practice is definitely the way to go. If you want to remember something, study it. Leave it alone for a while. Then go back and review it, preferably in a different way. Your brain has to struggle a bit to remember what it learned before. The struggle to remember forges a neural pathway in your brain that stores the information long term. copyright© Laraine Flemming 2012

10 What Hasn’t Been Confirmed
For years, study skills books have suggested that students find one place to study and then work consistently in that room. However, newer research suggests the opposite. Study in different locations. Again, the goal is to make the brain struggle a bit. As it absorbs the change in place, it is matching the information you are trying to learn to a new context, or setting, and that’s all to the good. I wrote a study skills book years ago and that’s exactly what I claimed. Yikes! copyright Laraine© Flemming 2012

11 For More Information on Changes in Study Advice
For more about what’s the same and what’s different in study skills, consider looking this article up on the Web: Benedict Carey, “Forget What You Know About Good Study Habits.” copyright© Laraine Flemming 2012

12 copyright© Laraine Flemming 2012
Write while Reading Writing while reading is critical because it helps you remember what you read. check your comprehension. maintain concentration. copyright© Laraine Flemming 2012

13 copyright© Laraine Flemming 2012
Write while Reading Use any or all of these writing strategies: Underline key words in sentences. Use boxes, stars, and circles to highlight key names and dates. Take marginal notes, jotting down central points. Mark important passages with double bars, stars, or asterisks. Identify, maybe with a “P” or “TP, ” ideas for term papers. copyright© Laraine Flemming 2012

14 Step 4: Recall after Completing a Chapter Section
Recalling right after reading can be done in a number of ways. You can mentally recite the general point and a few details without looking at the text. 2. write out answers to questions you posed during your survey. 3. cover up the text and write a summary of the material. Copyright ©Laraine Flemming 2012

15 Step 4: Recall after Completing a Chapter Section
You can also 1. make rough diagrams or drawings. 2. ask a classmate to quiz you on the material. 3. use any other method you can think of to see how much you remember. copyright Laraine Flemming 2012 Copyright Laraine Flemming 2011

16 copyright© Laraine Flemming 2012
A Word to the Wise The rate of forgetting is fastest right after you finish reading. Recalling by repeating what you just read in your own words slows down the rate of forgetting so you forget less. copyright© Laraine Flemming 2012

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Another Word to the Wise As soon as you start a study session, identify how many pages you plan to read. This is particularly important if you are reading a long chapter. Chopping the chapter into several ten- or fifteen-page assignments will make it seem more manageable, and you won’t give up on it. Consider reading different parts of the chapter in different locations, but do a review before starting a new section. copyright© Laraine Flemming 2012

18 Step 5: Review Right After Completing the Chapter
The review step of SQ3R takes place right after you finish the entire assignment. focuses on how parts of a text fit together to develop a general point. should either confirm or force you to revise some of your initial predictions about a chapter or article. copyright© Laraine Flemming 2012

19 The Goals of the First Review
Reviewing right after you complete the assignment helps anchor new information in your memory. gives you a sense of what passages might need a second reading. lets you focus more on the overall objective, or point, of the material copyright© Laraine Flemming 2012

20 copyright© Laraine Flemming 2012
Methods of Review Look at all the major headings and try to recall the general point introduced. Work with a friend who asks you questions about the headings. Use the headings to make an outline and write down what you remember about each one. copyright© Laraine Flemming 2012

21 Create Diagrams that Highlight Relationships Among Parts of the Chapter
The unfair taxation imposed by the British The rise of the merchant middle class in the colonies The forced quartering of British soldiers in American homes and inns Three central factors aroused American fury against British rule and contributed to the Revolutionary War Copyright© Laraine Flemming 2012

22 copyright Laraine Flemming 2012
A Word to the Wise Few strategies for reading—and for that matter for life—apply to every single situation. Adapt your reading strategies to the material. For instance, if you’re reading a passage that has strong visual imagery, take notes with diagrams or drawings. However, switch to an outline if you think the material doesn’t easily lend itself to pictures. In other words, BE A FLEXIBLE READER, changing strategies to suit the material. copyright Laraine Flemming 2012

23 A Word on Multi-Tasking
Copyright ©Laraine Flemming 20012

24 Copyright© Laraine Flemming 2012
Don’t Do It! At the Very Least Don’t Do It While Studying ! Copyright© Laraine Flemming 2012

25 Staying Focused is Essential
None of the techniques for mastering your textbooks will be effective if , while studying, you are texting and checking your cell, RSS feed, or Twitter (unless what you are looking at or checking is related to the assignment. That might work). For the record, most studies of multi-tasking suggest we only think we are getting more accomplished by juggling tasks simultaneously. Copyright© Laraine Flemming 20012

26 Multi-Tasking and Studying Don’t Mix
According to a group of Stanford University researchers, multi-taskers are “suckers for irrelevancy. Everything distracts them.” The Stanford researchers say that the more people multi-task, the more they lose the ability to separate the significant from the insignificant. (For more specific details about the study, see the reading in your text.) . copyright Laraine Flemming 2012

27 copyright Laraine Flemming 2012
A Word to the Wise It might surprise you to hear that reading too slowly can be as ineffective as reading too quickly, in part because reading the assignment can take so long, it becomes agonizing. Slow your rate way down only when you feel completely lost. Otherwise push yourself to keep going at around words per minute. If a passage doesn’t seem completely clear, mark it for re-reading (RR). And make sure you really do re-read. copyright Laraine Flemming 2012

28 Another Word to the Wise, This Time about Paraphrasing and Summarizing
It’s absolutely true that paraphrasing and summarizing while you read will take more time than just reading without note-taking. BUT THAT’S ONLY IN THE SHORT-TERM. The more time you spend thinking about what you read while you are doing it, the less time you will have to waste later on trying to remember the material when it’s time to study for exams. Remember, the brain likes a work out when it’s learning new things. Otherwise it gets lazy and forgetful. copyright Laraine Flemming 2012

29 The Importance of Paraphrasing Brief Excerpts While Reading
Paraphrasing sentences and brief passages while reading serves three purposes: It helps you monitor, or check, your understanding. It forces you to think about what you have read. It helps you remember. copyright Laraine Flemming 2012

30 copyright Laraine Flemming 2012
1.2 A Word to the Wise Often when the words are right in front of us, we think we have understood the meaning of a sentence or paragraph. Take the author’s words away, however, and a different truth emerges. Our understanding is foggy and vague. That’s why paraphrasing what you read is so critical. Paraphrasing helps you monitor comprehension and avoid self-deception. copyright Laraine Flemming 2012

31 Paraphrasing While You Read
Reading paraphrases aren’t the same as those you do for term papers. They can take an informal tone, “Madison was the head honcho when it came to the Constitution.” be grammatically incomplete,” U.S. Pollution Legislation, too much clean up too little prevention.” use abbreviations, 2-toed frogs signs of envir. damage copyright© Laraine Flemming 2012

32 Paraphrase While You Read
A good reading paraphrase should identify the subject under discussion. indicate what the subject did or what was done to it. refer to the conditions or causes that produced the event or situation described (if they are mentioned). 4. describe any significant outcome or consequence identified. copyright Laraine Flemming 2012

33 The Key Rule of All Paraphrasing
Change the language, change the order, change the number of the words, but do not change the meaning. copyright Laraine Flemming 2012

34 1.2 Reading versus Writing Paraphrases
For an illustration of how a reading paraphrase compares to one for a term paper, look at these two paraphrases. copyright Laraine Flemming 2012

35 1.2 Paraphrase for a Term Paper
Star athlete Patrick Tillman had a promising career in football, but he walked away from his chance at fame and fortune when he enlisted in the United States Army in June of 2002, determined to help his country make war on terrorism. Tillman was killed in 2004 by “friendly fire” in the mountains of Afghanistan. Initially military officials claimed he had been killed by enemy combatants and awarded him the silver star. The discovery of the truth outraged Tillman’s family and caused a public scandal. copyright Laraine Flemming 2012

36 1.2 Paraphrase for Reading Comprehension
P. Tillman left football to fight terrorists 6/2002.Died friendly fire Military said killed by enemy fire but truth came out. copyright Laraine Flemming 2012

37 1.2 Use Questions to Get Started Paraphrasing
1. What’s the subject? Patrick Tillman 2. What happened to him? He was killed by friendly fire while on duty in Afghanistan. 3. What were the conditions? He was a football player who wanted to serve his country. 4. What was the outcome? Military officials said he had been killed by the enemy, but it was discovered that he was a victim of friendly care. copyright Laraine Flemming 2012

38 copyright Laraine Flemming 2012
1.2 Paraphrasing Pointer If you are having trouble paraphrasing, think about reversing the order entirely. When Patrick Tillman died in Afghanistan, a victim of friendly fire, military officials first said he had been killed by the enemy. To help his country make war on terrorists, Tillman had walked away from a promising career in football to enlist in the U.S. military in June of 2002. copyright Laraine Flemming 2012

39 1.2 More Pointers on Paraphrasing
Don’t try to paraphrase word by word. Look for whole phrases that can be expressed in different language. If you are having trouble getting started, consider reversing the order of information. If you are struggling to paraphrase, ask and answer questions to identify chunks of information, e.g. What’s the subject being discussed? When did the key events occur? Were any specific conditions necessary for these events to happen? Don’t get bogged down trying to paraphrase technical words or phrases. There are some words that have no substitutes, e.g. Clean Air Act, ozone level You might want to abbreviate the entire paraphrasing discussion. Some of this is repeated on the slides for Chapter 3. I am obsessed by the importance of teaching paraphrasing. That doesn’t mean you have to be. copyright Laraine Flemming 2012

40 copyright ©Laraine Flemming 2012
1.2 A Word to the Wise If you are really struggling to paraphrase material you think you understood, think again. You probably haven’t truly understood it. You would be better off marking the passage for a second reading before you try to paraphrase it. copyright ©Laraine Flemming 2012

41 Summarizing is a Must-Have Academic Skill
tells you what you don’t know. helps you remember what you read. makes you sift out the essential from the non-essential. is a skill instructors in almost every course will expect you to have. is another form of paraphrasing only applied to longer excerpts that are complete in themselves and with greater emphasis on eliminating details. copyright Laraine Flemming 2012

42 When should you summarize?
Summarize paragraphs that offer a number of different examples to make the same point. that offer reasons for a controversial point of view. that seem absolutely essential to your understanding of the subject at hand. that are not heavy in scientific detail (For this kind of material outlining or mapping may be better). copyright Laraine Flemming 2012

43 copyright Laraine Flemming 2012
The Length of a Summary Generally a summary is expected to be one-quarter of the original. A good summary should include the author’s main point or idea. only those details absolutely ESSENTIAL to explaining that point or idea. only the reasons arguing a point of view, not details illustrating the reasons. copyright Laraine Flemming 2012

44 Pointers on Summary Writing
It helps to mark the text before you summarize. Go through it and cross out what you don’t need in your summary. Use pencil just in case you change your mind. Summarizing for your reading notes is different from summarizing for an instructor’s assignment. As with informal paraphrasing, you can cut corners when the summary is just for you. Your sentences also don’t have to flow together. copyright Laraine Flemming 2012

45 copyright© Laraine Flemming 2012
A Word to the Wise The purpose of summarizing while reading and summarizing for an assignment are quite different. When you summarize while reading, your goal is to make your brain analyze the material and help your memory hold on to what’s important, while getting it to ignore what isn’t. copyright© Laraine Flemming 2012

46 copyright© Laraine Flemming 2012
Difference Between Summarizing for Reading and Summarizing for an Assignment When you summarize for an assignment, your goal is to make someone who hasn’t read the original text get a general idea of what was in it. Thus you need more detail and your sentences need to be tightly connected. copyright© Laraine Flemming 2012

47 For an illustration of the difference, here’s a textbook excerpt:
To stretch a child’s intellect, demands must be made, but experiences that are too far beyond the familiar may cause frustration and withdrawal. Therefore, gradually expanding beyond a child’s current level of comprehension is usually most productive. Effective parents typically follow a sort of one-step-ahead strategy adapting their instruction to their child’s current level of ability. Coon, Essentials of Psychology, 121 copyright Laraine Flemming 2012

48 Here’s a summary appropriate for reading notes.
To help kids expand abilities, teachers should use 1-step ahead strategy, increasing difficulty slowly, so children don’t get frustrated. copyright Laraine Flemming 2012

49 Now Here’s A More Formal Summary appropriate for an Assignment
According to Dennis Coon, author of Essentials of Psychology, anyone wishing to increase children’s intellectual skills should use the one-step ahead approach that effective parents practice. Effective parents expand the difficulty level of tasks slowly, so children don’t get discouraged. copyright Laraine Flemming 2012

50 Summarizing for an Assignment
Remember, when you summarize for an assignment, your goal is make someone else understand the general outline or gist of what you have read. Thus you need to be grammatically correct. make clear connections between sentences. identify the author and title of the article you are summarizing. copyright Laraine Flemming 2012

51 Using the World Wide Web for Background Knowledge
When you are faced with an assignment dealing with an unfamiliar topic, use the Web to get basic background knowledge. Study after study shows that knowing something about the topic under discussion makes it easier to understand. Copyright© Laraine Flemming 2012

52 What’s the Right Search Term?
Your search term should 1. be influenced by the headings in the text. 2. be specific enough to exclude topics you don’t care about. 3. usually be a phrase rather than a single word. 4. not be so general, it brings up a host of web sites that bear no relationship to your topic. Copyright Laraine Flemming 2012

53 Pointers on Reading the Web for Background Knowledge
When you get a list of web sites in response to your search term, don’t just start at the beginning and keep hitting links until you find one that seems useful . Do the following instead: Read the captions describing what’s on the sites. Look for language related to your search term or assignment. Based on the descriptions, decide which sites on the list might be appropriate for your purposes. Click on one of these sites. If it’s appropriate, then read the information it provides. It it isn’t, go on to the next site where the caption’s language seemed to fit what you were looking for. copyright© Laraine Flemming 2012

54 Picking the Right Search Term
Imagine that you are surveying a chapter that referred to the former dictator of Cambodia Pol Pot in a heading that said “Under Pol Pot’s Iron Hand, ” Which of the following terms would get you the information you needed in the least amount of time? Copyright© Laraine Flemming 2012

55 Picking the Right Search Term
1. Pol Pot 2. Cambodia’s leader Pol Pot 3. Pol Pot 1976 …1979 copyright©Laraine Flemming 2012

56 Focusing Your Search Term
Although you could get back- ground knowledge for the chapter with all three choices, the term that would lead you directly to the information you need is Pol Pol The other two search terms would have to bring up more general information about Pol Pot’s life and rule. What’s needed is information about that specific time period. You might also mention that students can use ellipsis to get similar results. Pol Pot… Copyright Laraine Flemming 2012

57 Final Wrap Up See how well you can describe each of the steps in SQ3R. S Q R Survey headings, introductory materials, highlighted terms and visual aids to an overview of the chapter and determine its length and degree of difficulty. (2) Pose questions based on the title, headings, and introductory material. The purpose of the questions is to keep readers focused while reading. (3) Read the chapter in chunks, taking care to write while reading. (4) Recall after each chapter section to see how much you can remember. (5) Review to get a sense of how the parts of the chapter relate and to revise initial predictions about the chapter’s contents. Copyright Laraine Flemming 2011 copyright Laraine Flemming 2012

58 Final Wrap Up: Acquiring the Keys to Academic Success
6. Imagine that you were getting ready to read a chapter titled “Bank Reform in the Twenty-First Century, “ and it was forty pages long. What’s the first thing you should do and why? 6. Decide how to break it into manageable chunks because reading forty pages at one sitting is very difficult to do while maintaining the necessary level of concentration. Also, reading fifteen pages in one sitting is a lot less intimidating than reading forty. Copyright Laraine Flemming 2011 copyright Laraine Flemming 2012

59 Final Wrap: Acquiring the Keys to Academic Success
7. The key rule of paraphrasing is make sure the paraphrase is shorter than the original. always reverse the order used in the original text. change the language but keep the meaning. always provide a footnote for the original source. Copyright© Laraine Flemming 2012

60 Final Wrap: Acquiring the Keys to Academic Success
8. How might you paraphrase the following statement? “Matthew B. Crawford has a Ph.D. in political philosophy. He also owns a motorcycle repair shop in Richmond, Virginia. In his book, Shop Class as Soul Craft, he argues that working with our hands at physical tasks involves a deeper level of thought than many people realize.” . I’d suggest that students all create a paraphrase and then compare them. Here’s one possibility: “According to Matthew B. Crawford, author of Shop Class as Soul Craft, physical labor engages our minds as much as it does our hands. “ Copyright© Laraine Flemming 2012

61 Final Wrap: Acquiring the Keys to Academic Success
9. When you write a summary, which is most important? a. making sure that you correctly paraphrase all of the details in the passage b. being careful about stating the author and source of the original reading c. eliminating everything from the original except for the main idea and most essential details Answer b might appear to be correct but attribution is only necessary for a formal assignment, not for summarizing in general. Copyright Laraine Flemming 2011 copyright Laraine Flemming 2012

62 Final Wrap: Acquiring the Keys to Academic Success
10. Read the paragraph below. Then decide which of the following summaries is most effective. Even the most devoted bird lovers have a hard time loving the Canadian goose. Thus, in July of 2010, remarkably few people complained when the U.S. Department of Agriculture rounded up 400 geese from Prospect Park in Brooklyn and gassed the birds. The fate of the Canadian geese did not tug at human heart strings mainly because the birds don’t migrate. They arrive at a location, like a public park or lake, and take up residence, carpeting the area with their droppings. That’s the reason the U.S. D.A. pulled up the welcome mat in Prospect Park, and it’s probably the only reason so few people cried foul. .Apologies for the final pun. It was irresistible. Since I wrote this, I have read quite a few letters of protest, so you might want to correct my initial impression about the fate of the geese. Since the perspective did not change the goal of the exercise, I left it as it was. Copyright Laraine Flemming 2011 copyright Laraine Flemming 2012

63 Final Wrap: Acquiring the Keys to Academic Success
Summary 1: In July of 2010, when the U.S. D. A. exterminated 400 Canadian geese that had made Brooklyn’s Prospect Park their home, there wasn’t much public outcry because Canadian geese, who do not migrate, tend to destroy whatever environment they inhabit. The geese don’t leave and everything gets covered with their droppings. My vote goes to this summary. It’s abbreviated but keeps all the key points. Copyright Laraine Flemming 2011 copyright Laraine Flemming 2012

64 Final Wrap: Acquiring the Keys to Academic Success
So what do you think, is summary 1 a good summary? Cast your vote. But be prepared to explain why you think it meets the criteria for summarizing previously explained here. On to summary 2 I have set this up so that the class can do it as a group. You might also consider having students vote using Twitter to answer or responding via a clicker. I think allowing for such brief responses in these ways acts as a diversion. But the second step explaining the answer obviously can’t be tweeted or clicked in. Copyright Laraine Flemming 2012

65 Final Wrap: Acquiring the Keys to Academic Success
Summary 2: In July of 2010, the U.S. D. A. destroyed 400 Canadian geese that had been living in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park. In response to the measures, there wasn’t much public outcry. Canadian geese don’t migrate. Instead they take up residence in parks and by lakes, and their droppings carpet the surroundings. Thus few people had any sympathy for the geese’s plight. They were mainly sick of having them around, and they understood why the U.S. D.A. needed to take such desperate measures. The summary is too detailed. Copyright Laraine Flemming 2011 copyright Laraine Flemming 2012

66 Final Wrap: Acquiring the Keys to Academic Success
So what do you think, is summary 2 a good summary? Cast your vote. But be prepared to explain why you think it meets the criteria for summarizing previously explained here. On to summary 3 It’s not a good summary. It’s more a re-write of the original. I have set this up so that the class can do it as a group, perhaps using Twitter to answer or responding via a clicker. I think allowing for such brief responses in these ways acts as a diversion. But the second step explaining the answer can’t be tweeted or clicked in. Copyright© Laraine Flemming 2012

67 Final Wrap: Acquiring the Keys to Academic Success
Summary 3: In July of 2010, the U.S. D. A. destroyed 400 Canadian geese that had been living in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, but there was almost no public outrage. Canadian geese you see, don’t migrate. Too brief. In time the reader, at least one not versed in geese lore, might forget why the lack of migration is significant. Copyright Laraine Flemming 2012

68 Final Wrap: Acquiring the Keys to Academic Success
So what do you think, is summary 3 a good summary? Cast your vote. But be prepared to explain why you think it meets the criteria for summarizing previously explained here. It’s not a good summary because it relies too much on implied meaning. Reading that summary some time after reading the passage, it might not be so easy to remember what is important about the failure to migrate. That being said, if a student argued that this is enough information because no one in his or her right mind is going to forget what failure to migrate in terms of the consequences means, I’d accept the argument. Copyright Laraine Flemming 2011 copyright Laraine Flemming 2012

69 Copyright© Laraine Flemming 2012
What Do You Think? Did the U.S. D.A. do the right thing in gassing the geese? Please be prepared to explain the reasoning behind your answer. In a high school work shop I did recently, this topic provoked a lot of discussion some students were very sympathetic to the geese, but when they couldn’t explain how to solve the problem the geese caused, they gave in and agreed with the students who said, “The geese had to go.” As it turns out, animal rights activists—at least those on line—are talking less about the well-being of the geese and more about the chemicals used to eradicate them. This might be a good topic for students to research and then write about. Should Canadian geese be destroyed because they disturb human habitats? Should Canadian geese be destroyed using chemical methods Copyright© Laraine Flemming 2012

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