Reading Strategies Checklist
- How do titles, first paragraphs, and topic sentences set up expectations for (1) why the author wrote the piece, (2) what the subject is, (3) what the author’s attitude toward the subject is, (4) who the author’s audience is?
- Test out your assumptions from #1 as you read the entire essay.
- Provide an adequate summary of the essay in less than 100 words.
- Evaluate how effective is the evidence in support of the argument.
- Evaluate how credible the author seems and explain what the author does to seem credible.
- Explain how a passage from an essay connects to the larger argument of the essay.
- Explain how specific words or phrases relate to the purpose of a paragraph and even the larger article.
- Recognize figurative language and what purpose it serves in relationship to larger idea/purpose.
- Recognize when your understanding of a reading requires knowledge of a larger cultural or historical context that you don’t know much about—and then briefly learn about that context.
- Respond to statements that make you uncomfortable or that you disagree with in ways that further engage with the text.
- Recognize when a sentence is particularly difficult to understand and figure out what makes it difficult (vocabulary, syntax, context). Paraphrase it; in other words, put it in your own language.
I created a handout for the questions that we’re going to be asking on the final. I called it “Reading Strategies” and I posted it in my 1201 Blackboard course. It is attached. We have been applying the questions to our readings ever since. They’ve done it in small groups, some have done it as journal entries, and I will have them do it on a subsequent quiz moving forward. I am hoping that regular practice with these questions will ready them for the 1201 reading-focused part of the final.