Guide to College Reading



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Guide to College Reading, 8/e Kathleen T. McWhorter

THIS CHAPTER WILL SHOW YOU HOW TO:

  • Use textbook learning aids
  • Follow the organization of textbook chapters
  • Approach textbooks in new fields of study
  • Read technical material

TEXTBOOK LEARNING AIDS

  • Use textbook learning aids.
  • Follow the organization of textbook chapters.
  • Read technical materials.

TEXTBOOK LEARNING AIDS

  • The Preface
  • To the Student
  • Table of Contents
  • Opening Chapter
  • Typographical Aids
  • Chapter Questions
  • Vocabulary Lists
  • Glossary

The Preface

  • Author’s Introduction:
  • Why and for whom the author wrote the text
  • How the text is organized
  • Purpose of the text
  • References and authorities consulted
  • Major points of emphasis
  • In-text learning aids included and how to use them
  • Special features of the text

To the Student

  • Introductory information about the textbook.
  • Suggestions for learning and studying the text.
  • An “Instructor” section may follow….it is good to read this too.

Table of Contents

The Opening Chapter

  • The author sets the stage for the book.
  • The author introduces important terminology. There are usually 40-60 new words.

Typographical Aids

  • Italic type--used to call attention to a particular word or phrase.
  • Enumeration--numbering or lettering of facts and ideas to emphasize key ideas.
  • Headings and subheadings--divides chapters into sections and topics
  • Colored print--emphasizes important ideas or definitions

Chapter Questions

  • Review questions
    • Read questions when previewing the chapter.
    • Use questions or problems as review.
    • Use questions or problems as a self-test.
  • Discussion questions
    • Use questions to prepare for essay exams.

Vocabulary List

  • Vocabulary lists appear at:
  • If terms are identified at beginning or end, but not defined, mark them and identify their definitions as you come across them in a chapter.

Glossary

  • Mini-dictionary listing alphabetically the important terms used in a book
  • Faster and more convenient than a dictionary
  • Gives only the meaning used in the textbook
  • Use the glossary as a study aid at the end of a course.

HOW TEXTBOOK CHAPTERS ARE ORGANIZED

  • CHAPTER TITLE
  • Major Heading
  • Subheading
  • Subheading
  • Subheading
  • Major Heading
  • Major Heading

HOW TEXTBOOK CHAPTERS ARE ORGANIZED

  • AGE & AGING
  • Social effects of aging
  • Psychological consequences of aging
  • Biological consequences of aging

APPROACHING TEXTBOOKS IN NEW FIELDS OF STUDY

  • Each academic discipline is a unique system of study.
  • Spend more time than usual reading and studying.
  • Learn as much as possible until you discover more about what is expected.
  • Since you do not know how you will eventually organize and use it, process the same information in several different ways.

APPROACHING TEXTBOOKS IN NEW FIELDS OF STUDY

  • Use several methods of learning.
  • Ask questions.
    • How are the ideas arranged?
    • Are there any cause and effect relationships operating?
    • What are the practical applications of this information?

APPROACHING TEXTBOOKS IN NEW FIELDS OF STUDY

  • Look for similarities between the new subject matter and other academic fields that are familiar to you.
  • Establish an overview of the field.
  • Obtain additional reference materials, if necessary.

READING TECHNICAL MATERIAL

  • Fact Density:
  • Read technical material more slowly and carefully than other textbooks.
  • Plan on reviewing various sections several times.
  • Keep a notebook of important information.

The Vocabulary of Technical Writing

  • Context clues are commonly included in technical writing.
  • Analyze word parts of technical vocabulary.
  • Learn to pronounce each new term you come across.
  • Make use of the glossary.
  • Buy a subject area dictionary if you are majoring in a technical field.

Abbreviations and Notations

  • Learn relevant abbreviations from that specific field.
  • Check the appendix for lists of abbreviations and symbols.
  • Make a list of the symbols.
  • Work through sample problems

Graphic Aids

  • Use drawings, charts, tables, and diagrams.
    • Go back and forth between the text and the illustrations.
    • Study each illustration carefully.
    • Test your understanding of illustrations by drawing and labeling an illustration of your own without looking at the one in the text.

Examples and Sample Problems

  • Pay more attention to examples than you normally do in other textbooks.
  • Be sure to work through sample problems.
  • Use the problems at the end of the chapter as a self-test.

LEARNING STYLE TIPS

  • Applied learner: Writing a list of what you expect to learn from the chapter in the order in which you expect it to be presented.
  • Conceptual learner: Studying the headings in the table of contents and discovering how they fit together.
  • Are you an applied learner or a conceptual learner?

SELF-TEST SUMMARY

  • What types of learning aids do textbooks contain?
  • How are textbooks organized?
  • How can I adapt to new fields of study?
  • What features distinguish technical material?

TEST-TAKING TIPS: Studying for Exams in Your Other Courses

  • Review textbook chapters.
  • Review lecture notes.
  • Test yourself.
  • Review previous exams and quizzes.

Visit the Companion Website

  • http://www.ablongman.com/mcwhorter
  • For additional readings, exercises, and Internet Activities, visit this book’s Companion Website.
  • If you need a user name and password, please see your instructor.

My Reading Lab

  • For more practice with reading textbooks, visit MyReadingLab, click on the Reading Skills tab, and then click on Reading Textbooks---Grand Canyon, Arizona.
  • www.ablongman.com/myreadinglab


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