Reading Skills sample essay

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Reading daily, Reading deeply, Reading widely are the few important skills of reading from which we can enhance our understanding of passage, ameliorate our vocabulary, correct our grammatical mistakes, increase our thinking capacity and helps in improving or learning any part of a language. The more you read the one thing you realize the key to doing well in the examination, and the key to perform or present any task in a well equipped way. There are many techniques used in reading to get and understand whole idea or summary of the passage to improve reading. But few important skills of reading are given below to improve reading.

1. Styles of reading 2. Active reading 3. A tip for speeding up your active reading 4. Spotting authors’ navigation aids 5. Words and vocabulary [pic]1. Styles of reading There are three styles of reading which we use in different situations: Scanning: Scanning is what you do to find an answer to a specific question. You may run your eyes quickly down the page in a zigzag or winding S pattern. If you are looking for a name, you note capital letters. For a date, you look for numbers. Vocabulary words may be boldfaced or italicized. When you scan for information, you read only what is needed.

It’s useful to scan parts of texts to see if they’re going to be useful to you: • the introduction or preface of a book • the first or last paragraphs of chapters • the concluding chapter of a book. Skimming: for getting the gist of something Skimming is covering the chapter to get some of the main ideas and a general overview of the material. It is what you do first when reading a chapter assignment. You don’t read for details at this point. Here is how you skim a chapter: . To preview a passage before you read it in detail · Read the first paragraph of the chapter line by line.

· Next, read all the bold print headings starting at the beginning. · Read the first sentence of every paragraph. · Study any pictures, graphs, charts, and maps. · Finally, read the last paragraph of the chapter. As you skim, you could write down the main ideas and develop a chapter outline. Detailed reading: for extracting information accurately Where you read every word, and work to learn from the text. In this careful reading, you may find it helpful to skim first, to get a general idea, but then go back to read in detail. Use a dictionary to make sure you understand all the words used. [pic]2. Active reading

When you’re reading for your course, you need to make sure you’re actively involved with the text. It’s a waste of your time to just passively read, the way you’d read a thriller on holiday. Always make notes to keep up your concentration and understanding. Here are four tips for active reading. Underlining and highlighting Pick out what you think are the most important parts of what you are reading. Do this with your own copy of texts or on photocopies, not with borrowed books. If you are a visual learner, you’ll find it helpful to use different colours to highlight different aspects of what you’re reading.

Note key words Record the main headings as you read. Use one or two keywords for each point. When you don’t want to mark the text, keep a folder of notes you make while reading. Questions Before you start reading something like an article, a chapter or a whole book, prepare for your reading by noting down questions you want the material to answer. While you’re reading, note down questions which the author raises. Summaries Pause after you’ve read a section of text.

Then: 1. put what you’ve read into your own words; 2. skim through the text and check how accurate your summary is and 3.fill in any gaps. [pic]3. A tip for speeding up your active reading You should learn a huge amount from your reading. If you read passively, without learning, you’re wasting your time. So train your mind to learn. Try the SQ3R technique.

First developed by researchers at Ohio State University, SQ3R is a useful technique for absorbing written information. It helps you to create a good mental framework of a subject, into which you can fit the right facts. It helps you to set study goals and prompts you to use the review techniques that will help you to remember.

The acronym SQ3R stands for the five sequential techniques you should use to read a book: Survey, Question, Read, Recite and Review. Survey Gather the information you need to focus on the work and set goals: • Read the title to help prepare for the subject • Read the introduction or summary to see what the author thinks are the key points • Notice the boldface headings to see what the structure is • Notice any maps, graphs or charts. They are there for a purpose • Notice the reading aids, italics, bold face, questions at the end of the chapter. They are all there to help you understand and remember.

Question Help your mind to engage and concentrate. Your mind is engaged in learning when it is actively looking for answers to questions. Make questions that can be answered during the reading of the material. This will give a purpose to your reading. Take a heading and turn it into a question. For example, if a heading in a chapter about Cell Division is in your biology text, make a question by turning the title around: “How does cell division occur? ” or “How many steps are involved in cell division? ” Read Read the first section with your questions in mind. Now you read the material trying to find answers to your questions.

This is a careful reading, line by line. You may want to take notes or make flashcards. Recall As you read, look away from your book and notes and try to answer your questions. This checks your learning and helps put that information in your memory. After each section, stop and think back to your questions. See if you can answer them from memory. If not, take a look back at the text. Do this as often as you need to.. Review To check your memory, scan portions of the material or your notes to verify your answers. Review the material and note the main points under each heading. This review step helps you retain the material.

The SQ3R method is just one technique that can be used to retain information you collect while reading. Students learn in different ways. Therefore they should be aware of their learning styles. Knowing whether you are an Auditory (learn by hearing), Visual (learn by seeing) or Kinesthetic (hands-on) learner helps you to understand your best learning environment. The SQ3R technique of reading can help to enhance your reading skills no matter what your style is. [pic]4. Spotting authors’ navigation aids Learn to recognize sequence signals, for example: “Three advantages of… ” or “A number of methods are available…

” leads you to expect several points to follow. The first sentence of a paragraph will often indicate a sequence:” One important cause of… ” followed by “Another important factor… ” and so on, until “The final cause of… ” General points are often illustrated by particular examples, for example: General: Birds’ beaks are appropriately shaped for feeding. Particular: Sparrows and other seed-eating birds have short, stubby beaks; wrens and other insect eaters have thin pointed beaks; herons and other fish hunters have long, sharp beaks for spearing their prey. Whatever you are reading, be aware of the author’s background.

It is important to recognize the bias given to writing by a writer’s political, religious, social background. Learn which newspapers and journals represent a particular standpoint [pic]5. Words and vocabulary When you’re a graduate people expect you to use a vocabulary which is wider than a school-leaver’s. To expand your vocabulary: Choose a large dictionary rather than one which is ‘compact’ or ‘concise’. You want one which is big enough to define words clearly and helpfully (around 1,500 pages is a good size). Avoid dictionaries which send you round in circles by just giving synonyms. A pocket dictionary might suggest: ‘impetuous = rash’.

A more comprehensive dictionary will tell you that impetuous means ‘rushing with force and violence’, while another gives ‘liable to act without consideration’, and add to your understanding by giving the derivation ‘14th century, from late Latin impetuous = violent’. It will tell you that rash means ‘acting without due consideration or thought’, and is derived from Old High German rasc = hurried. So underlying these two similar words is the difference between violence and hurrying. There are over 600,000 words in the Oxford English Dictionary; most of them have different meanings, (only a small proportion is synonyms).

Avoid dictionaries which send you round in circles by using very complicated language to define the term you’re looking up, leaving you struggling to understand half a dozen new words. Keep your dictionary at hand when you’re studying. Look up unfamiliar words and work to understand what they mean. Improve your vocabulary by reading widely. Reading skills in a precis form Comprehensions Reading comprehension is a basic skill that each college student must possess. Believe it or not, reading is a complex, accrued skill—not acquired overnight learning to read and comprehend takes practice.

Comprehension involves obtaining information from written text. A reader who comprehends a text accurately understands what the writer intended to communicate. She understands the purpose and the main idea. Comprehension cannot be observed directly, but a reader who is able to retell, paraphrase or summarize a text demonstrates comprehension. Interpretation • When a reader interprets a text, he is employing a critical thinking strategy. He uses evidence and clues from the text to draw conclusions and looks for larger or more universal principals in what he has read.

Interpretation requires going beyond the initial impression of what he has read to develop a more complex and complete understanding. Analysis • When a reader analyzes the text, she identifies the assumptions of the writer and examines the structure of the argument. She asks questions such as, “Does the evidence support the argument? ” and “Does it support the conclusions the writer draws? ” She is looking for evidence of a logical and/or consistent argument. Synthesis • With synthesis, the skilled reader is able to show how a text develops or builds meaning.

He sorts out and reconstructs ideas in a text to point out how they are interrelated. He compares and extends meaning from multiple sources. Evaluation • Evaluation, determining the quality and effectiveness of a text, is the highest level of critical thinking associated with reading, according to Lesley Thompson, Senior Assessment and Accountability Program Associate at the Northwest Regional Education Laboratory. An effective reader evaluates the merit of the text by drawing on her own experience and knowledge and considering whether other sources provide evidence that agrees with or contradicts the writer’s argument.