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Reading Actively

Reading Actively

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Reading Actively

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  1. Reading Actively Joining the conversation

  2. General Questions for Effective Reading • Do you like the piece? • What do you like about the piece? • If you were able to talk with the authors, what would you ask them to write more about? • In one minute, how would you summarize what you read to a friend? • Over all what are the authors trying to elicit in the readers?

  3. Specific questions to consider • Emotional reactions: • Specifically, what do you like about the piece? • What don’t you like? • How does the piece make you feel? Is the author trying to make you feel something in particular? • What words or passages provoke the strongest emotions in you?

  4. Questions about main point(s) • Mark the main points if explicitly stated • Look for sentences that suggest main points • Do the authors contradict themselves? • If any information is new to you, how does new information change your thinking?

  5. Questions about organization • How does the opening affect you? • What happens to the message if you were to remove the concluding paragraph? • What is the sequence of ideas? What happens if you re-order them?

  6. Questions about difficulty • Which particular words and/or sentences are difficult to understand? • Why is the text difficult to read? • What experience or education would you need to understand easily? • Why did the authors situate the piece at that particular reading level?

  7. Questions about the authors • What knowledge of the authors do you have? How does this affect your response? • Do the writers explicitly communicate or indirectly communicate anything about themselves?

  8. Questions abut the writing process • Where does the information come from? Are sources named in the text? • Has anyone else (e.g., editors, translators, printers) tampered with the content?

  9. Questions about you, the reader • How do you react while reading the piece? • Do your feelings change as you read on? • Do your expectations change? • What kinds of things do you like to read? What do you avoid? • What knowledge or experience do you bring to the reading? Can that affect the way you read the piece? • What mood is created in you by the piece? • Which words and passages evoke the mood?

  10. Questions about the intended audience • What does the writer assume about the readers? • Does the author state the assumptions anywhere? • Does the piece contain technical jargon? • Who would understand the jargon? • Does the author seem to address more than one audience? How do you know?

  11. Questions on genre • What kind of piece is it? • Personal story? Fiction? Political speech? Advertising? Opinion-editorial? • How does the author use genres in the piece (e.g., personal anecdote, argument, etc.)? • How is the piece like other pieces of the genre?

  12. Questions about culture • Does the author reference cultural norms or events (e.g., holidays, customs, religions, etc.) that come from cultures you are unfamiliar with? • How important is knowledge of these for understanding? • Can you attribute cultural differences to those aspects that are strange or foreign ?

  13. Questions about values • Where, if anywhere, does the author state a personal belief or principle? • Is the belief deeply held? • How can you tell from the text? • What values/principles are implied? • What ideas (or people, sources, etc.) seem to be devalued? • How do you feel about the devaluation?

  14. Results of asking questions • Questions provide a way of looking at a piece • Looking at a piece from several vantage points allows for a fuller understanding • Also allows for thinking about the piece as something that can be changed • You become conversant, which leads to ownership—you own the knowledge rather than accept someone else’s knowledge