● Most college work still requires an ability to understand and reflect intelligently on written texts, and subsequently, to respond in writing to them.
Preponderance: the quality or fact of being greater in number, quantity, or importance.
Learning the tools of critical reading and writing not only teaches you the “what” of an issue, but also helps you think about and respond intelligently to the relative strength of the writer’s opinions, ideas, and theories.
Critical thinking, reading, and writing enables you to distinguish between informed ideas and pure speculation, rational arguments and emotional ones, and organized essays and structurally deficient ones.
Active reading means learning to annotate, to reflect on what you read, and develop personal responses in order to prepare yourself for writing topics
● Our own interpretation and evaluation of the text will be conditioned by our personal experiences, background, attitudes, biases, and beliefs. In other words, even as the class attempts to construct a common reading, each member of the class is also constructing a somewhat different meaning, one based on the individual’s own interaction with the text
“Literature is news that stays news” Ezra Pound
● Questions to ask before you read
Focus on the title of the essay
What can you infer from the title?
What is the length of the essay?
What is the date of the original publication of the essay?
Is the essay a fully contained work or is it an excerpt from a larger text?
Are there use quotation marks to “signal” certain words?
Is italic typed used, and if so what is the purpose?
Are other books and authors cited in the essay?
Does the author use organizational tools such as Arabic or Roman numerals?
★ Preparation for reading also means understanding that you bring your own knowledge, opinions, experiences and attitudes to the text.
Essentials for close reading:
and Questioning the text
Annotating is not merely understanding or highlighting text.
Learning is best accomplished by restraining ideas in your own words
● Note taking
You will appreciate the benefits of taking notes when you tackle lengthy essays.
● Questioning the text
Ask these questions:
What is the thesis or main point of the text
What methods does the author use to support these points, for instance, illustration, example, citing authorities, citing studies and/or statistics, description, personal experience or history? What value position, of any, does the author present? In other words, is the author either directly or indirectly presenting his or her moral framework on an issue or is he or she summarizing or describing an issue?
Does the author use any special terms or expressions that need to be elucidated to understand the essay? You will find that authors, when addressing innovative or revolutionary ideas within the context of their times, must use vocabulary that often needs to be defined.
Take for example, the term multiculturalism.
Exactly what does an author mean by that word?
What is the level of discourse of the essay? or what is the audience level of educational attainment the author presumes?
Who is the implied audience for the essay? Is it written for a specialized profession
(such as scientists or educators); Is it written for individuals with a focus on their particular role in society, for example, as parents or consumers or citizens?
● After critically reading it’s important to always think about what you just read. McGrawHill page 48 assignment
Annotation helps with making the passage more twentyfirst century for the reader and helps them understand what they are reading. It also gives Ethos, Pathos, and Logos, which will help the reader know that the passage is not nonse. Language and Composition