When reading is a challenge

When Reading Becomes a Challenge

Most high school students spend their time reading and writing about literature in their English classes. During their freshman year at college students have to learn how to read nonfiction critically, that is, to read texts, essays, scientific reports, historical materials, etc. very closely: to find the central argument in a text, to identify the author’s assumptions, to consider his/her purpose and audience, to evaluate the evidence. Your College English instructor will help you learn to read in this fashion if you don’t already.

The following sites may be useful to orient you to reading in college.

  • Ways of responding to a text. This site explains the types of responses to reading that your instructor will usually expect. This is the kind of writing you’ll do in your journal. Double-entry journals are explained in depth.
  • Critical reading strategies. These strategies will be the primary focus of your reading this term.
  • Metacognitive reading strategies. “Metacognition” is a fancy word for being aware of how you read and being in control of how you read to change how you read depending on the type of text and assignment.
  • Reading while talking.