Chp. 2 Critical Reading
- Author: You can discern information from the author or the author bio.
- Place of Publication: may reveal subject, style, and approach.
- Title: May give an idea about the text.
- Context: Consider the situational conditions the text was produced.
- Context of production
- Content of consumption
- Skimming: Pay close attention to headings and subheadings. Look for the Thesis.
- Thesis: The main point or major claim
The First and Last Rule
Authors place main points of emphasis at the beginning and ending of essays, paragraphs, and sentences.
Reading with a Careful Eye
Underline, highlight, or annotate the text. Read for the main points, or important points. Do not highlight everything.
Read with a purpose. Read to understand, question, and analyze the text.
“This; Therefore, That”
To arrive at a coherent thought or series of thoughts that will lead to a reasonable conclusion. Follow the text you are readings thoughts as well as your own before reaching a conclusion.
Define Terms and Concepts
Read carefully to how the terms and concepts are used in the argument. Define words and concepts.
Summarizing and Paraphrase
Summary: Say briefly what the whole adds up to.
Paraphrase: a word-by-word or phrase-by-phrase rewording of a text. A translation of the author’s language into your own.
Why summary and paraphrase?
- validate the basis of your argument.
- clarify the complex ideas contained in a text.
- support your argument
- lend authority to your voice
- help you build new ideas from existing ideas on the topic.
Paraphrase, Patchwriting, and Plagiarism
Quoting: Copy word for word
Paraphrase: reword a point or idea.
Summarize: the main idea of a text.
Patchwriting: produce a medley of borrowed words and original words.
Plagiarism: Submitting the work of others intentionally or unintentionally as your own.
To avoid plagiarism, carefully track your notes, paraphrases, and summaries.
Strategies for Summarizing
Summarize paragraphs so you can follow the threads of the argument.
A summary can be a sentence, a paragraph, or a page long. Depends on how much room you have and how much you need to include.
Summary does not include your own thoughts. Summary does not include your own thoughts.
Summaries can be for reading comprehension, but in essay writing the point is to assist your own argument.
Remember when writing a summary you are putting yourself into the author’s shoes.
A longer summary that you intent to integrate into your own argument, and with your own ideas interjected.
- Introduce the summary.
- Explain the major point or argument the source makes.
- Exemplify by offering one or more representative examples.
- Problematize by placing your assessment, analysis, and questions in the summary.
- Extend by tying the summary to your argument.