Art of Critical Reading : Brushing up on Your Reading, Thinking, and Study Skills

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2004-10-21
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Humanities/Social Sciences/Languages
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This new text uses the theme of art (integrated through reading selections, visuals, and exercises) to create an exciting and engaged approach to reading and learning. The Art of Critical Reading offers a wealth of effective exercises and reading selections drawn from a variety of sources (college textbooks, newspapers, magazines, and classic and contemporary literature) to inspire students to read with passion and care.

Table of Contents

Part 1 Learning How to be a Successful Student


Portrait of a Successful Student

Learning Styles

The Course Syllabus

Review of an Art History Syllabus

Review of Your Own Course Syllabus

Crossword Puzzle

Selection: Excerpt from Ten Things I Wish I’d Known Before I Went Out Into the Real World, by Maria Shriver

Vocabulary: Introduction

Optimism and Success

Selection: “Rudolph Giuliani,” an excerpt from The Right Words at the Right Time, by Marlo Thomas and Friends Pretest

Selection: (Psychology textbook) “Critical Thinking – Uncommon Sense,” by Dennis Coon

Selection: “My Uncle Terwilliger on the Art of Eating Popovers,” by Dr. Seuss

Chapter 1 Your Life in College and Beyond

Portrait of a Successful Student Continued

Study Technique #1 – Marking, Highlighting, Annotating

Selection: (Health textbook) “Stress: The Constant Challenge,” by Paul M. Insel

Selection: “On Impact,” from On Writing, by Stephen King

Study Technique #2 – Time Line

Selection: an excerpt from The Art of Spelling, by Marilyn Vos Savant

Spelling Tips

Critical Thinking – Problem Solving

Selection: “Overcoming Dyslexia,” by Betsy Morris

Vocabulary: Words in Context

Study Technique #3 – SQ3R Study Method

Selection: “Win By a Decision,” by Stedman Graham

Chapter 1 Test Taking Tip – Be Prepared

Part 2 Discovering Meaning Through Structure

Chapter 2 Topics, Main Ideas, and Details

Description of Topics and Main Ideas

Locating Topics in textbook material

Locating Main Ideas in textbook material

Paragraph Diagrams with textbook material

Main Idea: Location of the Main Idea in textbook material

Selection: “Black Men and Public Space,” by Brent Staples

Selection: (Communications textbook) “The Look of a Victim,” by Loretta Malandro and Larry Barker


Implied Main Ideas in textbook material

Selection: “Eye of the Beholder,” Dave Barry

Selection: (Art History textbook) “Public Art,” by Mark Getlein

Homonyms and Other Confusing Words (Unit 1)

Chapter 2 Test Taking Tip – Day of the Test

Chapter 3 Determining the Author’s Purpose

An Introduction to Modes of Writing (Rhetorical Modes)

Author’s Purpose: To Inform

Selection: (Psychology textbook) “Motivation and Emotion,” by Robert Feldman

Study Technique #4 – Outlining

Author’s Purpose: To Entertain

Selection: “The Country Mouse and the Town Mouse,” from Aesop’s Fables

Author’s Purpose: To Persuade

Selection: “Crossings,” by Judith Ortiz Cofer

Selection: (Art History textbook) “Interpreting Out Loud,” by Terry Barrett

Selection: “Life on the Edge,” by Karl Taro Greenfield

Homonyms and Other Confusing Words (Unit 2)

Chapter 3 Test Taking Tip – After the Test is Returned

Chapter 4 Transition Words and Patterns of Organization

Description of Transition Words and Patterns of Organization

Transition Words

Locus of Control

Classification Pattern

Cause-and-effect Pattern

Examples and Illustration Pattern

Compare/Contrast Pattern

Study Technique #5 – Compare/Contrast chart

Listing Pattern

Steps in a Process Pattern

Definition Pattern

Study Technique #6 – Mapping

Chronological Order Pattern

Additional Transition Words

Selection: “The Cheating Game,” by Carolyn Kleiner and Mary Lord

Selection: “School Cheating Scandal Tests a Town’s Values,” by Jodi Wilgoren

Study Technique #7 - Writing Summaries

Selection: (Art History textbook) “Whose Grave is This Anyway,” by Rita Gilbert

Chapter 4 Test Taking Tip – Dealing with Test-taking Anxiety

Part 3 Interpreting What We Read

Chapter 5 Inference

“Barney” by Will Stanton

Drawing Inferences from textbook material

Drawing Inferences from literature

Selection: “The Life and Death of a Western Gladiator,” by Charles Finney

Selection: “George,” an excerpt from Wolf Songs, by Farley Mowat

Selection: “The Race of the Century,” an excerpt from Seabiscuit, by Laura Hillenbrand

Selection: (Art History textbook) “Rosa Bonheur,” by Rita Gilbert

Chapter 5 Test Taking Tip – Creating Review Tools

Chapter 6 Figurative Language

Analyzing Figurative Comparisons

Analyzing Poetry

Selection: “To Be of Use.” By Marge Piercy

Figurative Comparisons in Fiction

Selection: “Acapulco,” an excerpt from Caramelo, by Sandra Cisneros

Selection: “Why Leaves Turn Color in the Fall,” by Diane Ackerman

The Use of Symbols


Selection: “Heaven and Earth In Jest,” by Annie Dillard

Selection: “Water,” by Robert Lowell – “In the end, the water was too cold for us.”

Selection: an excerpt from Frida, by Hayden Herrera

Selection: “From the Subway to the Streets,” by Nina Siegal

Chapter 6 Test Taking Tip – Taking Multiple-Choice Tests

Chapter 7 Tone

Inferring Tone

Selection: “Daughter’s Friend is a Boy,” by Art Buchwald

Irony and Satire

Selection: “Waiting in Life’s Long Lines,” by Tom Mather

Selection: “The Art Breakers,” by Patrick Rogers and Peter Mikelbank

Chapter 7 Test Taking Tip – Taking Multiple-Choice Tests Continued

Part 4 Reading Critically

Chapter 8 Fact and Opinion

Selection: (Psychology textbook) “Pseudo-psychology – Astrology, “ by Dennis Coon

Selection: “What Does Astrology Have To Do With Astronomy”? an excerpt from Don’t Know Much About the Universe, by Kenneth C. Davis

Selection: “A Review of The Sixth Sense,” by Roger Ebert

Selection: (Health textbook) “Herbal Remedies: Are they Safe”? by Paul M. Insel

Selection: “When Health Supplements May Do Harm”, by Benjamin J. Ansell, M.D.”

Evaluating Health News

Selection: “Are We Dying to Be Thin”? by Mary Carmichael

The Facts About Health Information on the Internet

Selection: (Art History textbook) “Vincenzo Perugia,” by Mark Getlein

Chapter 8 Test Taking Tip – Improving Your Performance on Essay Tests

Chapter 9 Point of View


Selection: “Popular Mechanics,” by Raymond Carver

Selection: “The Lady or the Tiger,” by Frank R. Stockton

Selection: (History textbook) “Surviving Vietnam,” by Robert A. Divine

Vietnam War Memorial Points of View

Chapter 9 Test Taking Tip – Improving Your Performance on Essay Tests

Chapter 10 Bias

Denotative and Connotative Language


Selection: (Education textbook) “Seven Forms of Bias,” by Myra and David Sadker

Selection: “Textbook Bias Cops Ban Ideas,” by Diane Ravitch

Selection: (Education textbook) “Cultural Literacy or Cultural Imperialism?” by Myra and David Sadker

Selection: “The New History,” by Patrick J. Buchanan

Working with textbook bias

Selection: (Communications Textbook) “Propaganda Devices,” by James R Wilson

Chapter 10 Test Taking Tip – Improving Your Performance on Essay Tests

Chapter 11 Argument

Analyzing and Evaluating Arguments

An Introduction to Logical Fallacies

Selection: an excerpt from John Adams, by David McCullough

Study Technique #7 - Venn Diagram

Selection: ”Ben Franklin – Declaring Independence,” by Walter Isaacson

“The Declaration of Independence” by Thomas Jefferson

Selection: “The Evolution of the Bill of Rights,” by Sandra Day O”Connor

“The Bill of Rights”

“Five Tests of Your Freedoms”

Chapter 11 Test Taking Tip – Key Words That Often Appear in Essay Questions

Chapter 12 Evaluating the Evidence

Evaluating Persuasive Writing

Characteristics of the Audience

Introduction to Deductive and Inductive Reasoning

Three Selections Related to Death and Dying

Selection: “Dreaming of Disconnecting the Respirator,” by Elissa Ely

Selection: “The Good Death: Embracing a Right to Die Well,” by Sheryl Gay Stolberg

Selection: (Health textbook) “El Dia de Los Muertos: The Day of the Dead,” by Paul M. Insel accessible.”

Three Selections Related to Animal Experimentation

Selection: (Biology textbook) excerpt from “Animal Experimentation Raises Ethical Questions,” by Eli C. Minkoff

Selection: “The Monkey Wars,” by Deborah Blum

Selection: excerpt from Dominion by Matthew Scully

Chapter 12 Test Taking Tip – Key Words that Often Appear in Essay Questions Continued.

Part 5 Study Skills

Chapter 13 Organizing Textbook Information

Studying Textbook Chapters



Annotating and Margin Notes



Compare-Contrast Chart

Venn Diagram

Selection: (Complete Textbook Chapter) “The Arts” from Cultural Anthropology, by Conrad Phillip Kottak

Chapter 13 Test Taking Tip – Preparing for Standardized Tests

Part 6 Vocabulary

Chapter 14 - Units 1-8

Chapter 14 Test Taking Tip – Taking Standardized Tests


Visual Aids

Using a Thesaurus

Spelling Tips

Vocabulary Word Parts

Sample Summary

Internet Site Evaluation Sheet

Rewards Program

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