Friday, January 20, 2012

READING [Art of reading]



Reading is inevitable for knowledge gaining. The main purpose behind our reading is to make connections between what we have already known and what we need to know. Knowledge is wide. Gaining knowledge or updating in particular subject is highly required for the present business world. There may be many reasons for reading-

Practical application;

To get an overview;
To locate specific information;
To identify the central idea of theme;
For pleasure and enjoyment.

How to read. The style of reading may be of two types – fast reading and slow reading. Fast reading may be used for the following:

To gain an overview of the material;
To separate relevant from irrelevant material;
To locate specific information;
To identify the central theme or idea;
There are three effective fast reading styles which are scanning, key words spotting and skimming. The speed reading aims to improve reading skills by-

Increasing the number of words read in each block;
Reducing the length of time spent reading each block; and
Reducing the number of times your eyes skip back to a previous sentence.
Slow reading helps to gain a detailed understanding of the material and maintain your connection. A slow reading is useful to-

Evaluate what you have read;
Remember exactly what you have read;
Follow instructions or directions;
Understand difficult terms or ideas.

The following are the techniques of reading-

Reading for enjoyment – like reading a novel or magazine – it is involves light reading;
Exploratory reading – skimming through the book to get the gist of the topic. Skimming involves finding out what something is all about. In order to skim one is to formulate questions before begin to read. E.g., What is this all about. Does this article deal with the subject one is researching. Etc.,
Revision reading – skimming through a book which is familiar in order to confirm knowledge;
Search reading – scanning for a specific piece of information or to answer a specific question;
Proof reading – carefully focusing on spelling, punctuation and sentence structure and checking accuracy;
Reading for mastery – to get detailed information or understanding the topic; For this careful, slow and repeated reading is adopted;
Critical reading – reading for stimulus, for challenge, to assess values and ideas an in reading a book for review or critically analyzing a novel. The most important skill in critical reading is asking questions. Skim through the passage first read the passage more slowly keeping in mind certain questions like why does the author make this statement; how do you feel about this information; what opinions, feelings and attitudes are being expressed; are they facts or opinions; is the information logical; examine the choice of words used – what connotations are suggested; then re read silently and aloud for a number of times and finally form the opinion as derived from critical reading.

Reading is essential for success. It also means taking some risks. One cannot read everything. One cannot read everything in the same way. One has to decide why he is reading and he what he wants to get out of it and this means of selecting what to read and how much attention to give certain parts of his reading. Deciding the purpose of reading one is to decide the approach and the depth of reading-

For a set text or wider reading.
For a lecture
For a tutorial/seminar.
For an assignment
For an exam.
Before reading one has to look-

at the title, details about the author and work out how the work fits in with other texts in the subject;
scan the contents page and the index to gain an overview of the are covered by the work;
skim through the work, picking up key paragraphs and sentences, particularly the opening and closing sections of chapters or articles
and then read the whole carefully, nothing major points and ideas in one's one words as well as sections to which one may wish to return later.

For assignment or for research one may try the following steps:

start with a book from the reading list which gives an overview of the topic;
as you read, keep asking yourself exactly what you are looking for and write down those questions as a guide to reading;
keep doing the look, scan and skim procedure to make sure the material is both relevant to your needs, and that you are not duplicating information you have already found;
record the details of author, title, place of publication, publisher and date as you select each work so that you don't have the frustration of trying to find it again and preparing your reference list/bibliography. Record page numbers with any notes you take;
take notes from your reading as you would if you were reading for research purposes.

When you find reading is difficult there are several strategies that you can try-

Be an active reader by asking yourself questions about what you are reading and how it relates to your research;
Prepare for reading by consulting your lecture, notes beforehand for guidance and an overview;
Turn section headings in the book or article into questions and answer them in your own words after you have read the section;
Break the reading into smaller sections and note one section at a time;
If the language or style used make the work too difficult to grasp, seek help from your tutor or lecture, who may be able to suggest a more straightforward introduction to the topic.

Strategic readers actively construct meaning as they read, interacting with the text. They set purposes for reading, select method of accomplishing these purposes, monitor and repair their comprehension as they read and evaluate the completed task. A strategic reader constructs, examines and extends meaning before, during and after reading for a variety of texts. There are a number of differences between strategic readers and poor readers during all phases of the reading process.


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