Week 1: Active Reading: Week 1: Active Reading What is Academic Writing?: What is Academic Writing? Elements of Academic Writing: Elements of Academic Writing Uses eloquent, scholarly speech and the conventions of proper grammar
Avoids 'low' speech and Web speak (i.e. 'how r u?' 'a/s/l' etc)
States a clear point (thesis) and supports it with reliable evidence
It is organized, with an introduction, body and conclusion
….Now, how do we go about it? First, we need something to write about…. So we READ!: First, we need something to write about…. So we READ! On page 5 of the reading, it states 'college writers rarely have the luxury of choosing a topic that interest them or composing an essay based entirely on their own ideas and personal experience.'
Most of the time in college writing, you will be assigned a topic and stuff to read about the topic, then sent off to write a paper. You are expected to read yet more stuff about the topic for the paper – stuff that is unassigned and you must find yourself.
'Active Reading' is the process by which you organize and understand all this 'stuff' you need to read in order to write a coherent paper. Ways to go about Active Reading: Ways to go about Active Reading Pre-reading: Pre-reading Decide what your goals are for reading the piece – what questions do you hope will be answered?
Think about what you already know about the topic - does this source support or contradict your opinion/point?
***Pgs. 6-8 talk about pre-reading – you don’t have to be as formal as the book suggests in your pre-reading, but you do want to consider your goals and current knowledge about the topic before jumping into an article/book/whatever. Close Reading: Close Reading Use Post-its or the margins of a text (cringing at that thought, poor books!) to make notes about what you’re reading – point out places that are confusing, things that you need to Google or look up in Wikipedia to understand, or passages that emphasize the point you are trying to make in the paper that you are writing.
Consider the purpose of the piece (why was it written?), its methods of organization, and its use of language to make its point (is it humorous? Negative? Positive?)
***Pgs. 8-15 discuss Close Reading, there are several examples there. Again, this isn’t about following every example in the book—it’ about finding methods that make you the best reader you can be. Post-Reading: Post-Reading Look over your notes and look up anything that needs clarification.
Write yourself a short description of the piece so that you can remember what the piece was about without rereading the entire thing.
Record quotations that might be useful in your paper.
PROPERLY CITE THE PIECE RIGHT THEN! If you fail to do this, I promise you will forget where you found at least one source and thus not be able to use it because you have no proof that it actually exists.
***Pgs. 15-36 deal with Post-Reading. You can find information on how to properly cite a source in your Prentice Hall Reference Guide under the 'MLA' tab. We will discuss citation more in later chapters. Summary of What We’ve Discussed: Summary of What We’ve Discussed Academic Writing requires a great amount of reading and plastic report covers (or other flashy touches) will not get you a good grade on a bad paper.
Active Reading Requires Three Steps:
Finally, remember that the Active Reading process is different for everyone and not one method is the 'right' method. We all learn differently, so find what works for you and use it to your every advantage.