Critical Reading for College and Beyond

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2003-10-07
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Humanities/Social Sciences/Languages

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Critical Reading for College and Beyonduses regular journaling and self-assessment techniques to help students hone their abilities to read, analyze, and respond to textbooks and other college-appropriate materials.

Table of Contents

PART ONE: Preparing to Read College Textbooks

Chapter 1: Reading in College

Why You Should Use a Learning Journal

Using a Learning Journal

How a Learning Journal Helps You Develop Concentrationand Why That’s Important

What Is Concentration?

Learning with Purpose

Learning Styles

Discovering Your Concentration Blocks

Concentration Techniques

Test Taking and Concentration

Practice with Reading Passages

Selection 1-1 “Letting Justice Flow” by Kafer, A. from That Takes Ovaries by Solomon, R. (Essay)

Selection 1-2 “The Thrill of Theft” from Newsweek by J. Adler (Magazine Article)

Chapter Summary

Post Test

Selection 1-3 “The Perfect Picture” from Reader’s Digest by James Anderson Thom (Essay)


Chapter 2: Developing Your Vocabulary

Strategies for Remembering New Vocabulary

Use Context Clues

Analyze Word Parts

Specialized Vocabulary

Test Taking and Vocabulary

Practice with Reading Passages

Selection 2-1 “The Chemistry of Love” from Time by Gupta, S. Buscemi, S. (Essay)

Selection 2-2 “It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s a Plagiarism Buster” from Newsweek by Sullivan, G. (Essay)

Chapter Summary

Post Test

Selection 2-3 “Verbal Abuse: Words on the Endangered List” from Woe Is I: The Grammarphobe’s Guide to Better English in Plain English by O’Conner, P. (Grammar/Usage)


Chapter 3: Remembering What You Read

What Is Memory?

Sensory Memory

Short-Term or Working Memory

Long Term Memory

Strategies to Remember Information Long-Term

Organize Newly Learned Information

Master Difficult Vocabulary

Create a Memory Matrix

Connect New Information with Information You Already Know

Note Comparisons

Go Beyond Textbook Information


Teach It!

Strategies for Recalling Information - Mnemonics

Test Taking and Memory

Practice with Reading Passages

Selection 3-1 “Cinderella” from Transformations by Anne Sexton (Poetry)

Selection 3-2 “Structuring the Business" from How to Really Start Your Own Business by Gumpert, D. (Business)

Chapter Summary

Post Test

Selection 3-3 “Kick Florida, or at Least South Florida, out of the Union” from Dave Barry Hits below the Beltway by Barry, D. (Politics/Humor)


Chapter 4: Managing Reading Time

What Is Efficient Reading?

Tips for Efficient Reading

Know Reading Averages

Track Your Reading Rates

Understand Speed Reading

Reading Quickly




Developing A Reading Plan

Test Taking and Time Management

Practice with Reading Passages

Selection 4-1 excerpt from Brothel: Mustang Ranch and Its Women by Albert, A. (Sociology)

Selection 4-2 “The Father’s Role” from Human Development by Papalia, D. & Olds, S. (Sociology)

Chapter Summary

Post Test

Selection 4-3 excerpt from Angela’s Ashes: A Memoir by McCourt, F. (Autobiography)


Applying What You Have Learned -- Part One

Selection “An African Story” from Skin and Other Stories by Roald Dahl (Fiction)

PART TWO: Key Strategies for Reading Comprehension

Chapter 5: Locating Stated Main Ideas

What Are Topics, Main Ideas, and Details?


The Stated Main Idea

Strategies for Recognizing Main Ideas

Question Yourself

Look in the Usual Spots

Notice Clue Words

Categorize an Author’s Points

Test Taking and Main Ideas

Practice with Reading Passages

Selection 5-1 “Spider and the Wasp” from Scientific American by Alexander Petrunkevitch (Biology)

Selection 5-2 “I Just Met a Girl Named Maria” from The Latin Deli: Prose and Poetry by Judith Ortiz Cofer (Essay)

Chapter Summary

Post Test

Selection 5-3 “McDonald’s” from Cultural Anthropology by C. Kottak (Anthropology)


Chapter 6: Finding Supporting Details

Major Supporting Details

Minor Supporting Details

Looking for the Bigger Picture in Longer Readings

Practice with Reading Passages

Selection 6-1 excerpt from Why America Doesn’t Work from C. Colson & J. Eckerd (Social Commentary)

Selection 6-2 “Gawk Shows” from Lear’s magazine by Nicol Fox (Media)

Chapter Summary

Post Test

Selection 6-3 excerpt from The Rainmaker by J. Grisham (Fiction)


Chapter 7: Using Inference to Identify Implied Main Ideas

Inference Strategies

Noting Comparisons and Implied Similarities

Understanding an Author’s Purpose

Understanding an Author’s Use of Tone

Detecting Author’s Bias

Recognizing Information Gaps

Knowing How Much to Infer

Seeing Author’s Perspective

Using the Text to Support Your Conclusion

Implied Main Ideas

Selection 7-1 “Hold the Mayonnaise” by Julia Alvarez (Essay)

Practice with Reading Passages

Selection 7-2 “In Contempt” by Christopher Darden (Autobiography)

Selection 7-3 “A Victim” from The Informed Heartby Bruno Bettelheim (Autobiography)

Chapter Summary

Post Test

Selection 7-4 “Who Do You Think You Are, Viskovitz?” from You’re an Animal Viskovitz by A. Boffa (Fiction)


Chapter 8: Understanding Textbook Methods of Organization

Textbook Methods of Organization

How to Use Patterns of Organization

Organizational Word Clues

The Patterns of Organization Authors Use



Cause and Effect

Comparison and Contrast



Identifying Patterns of Organization

Overall Organizational Methods in Readings

Selection 8-1 excerpt from The Life and Times of the Kid Last Picked by D. Benjamin (Fiction)

Practice with Reading Passages

Selection 8-2 “Green Frog Skin” from Lame Deer Seeker of Visions by John Fire/Lame Deerand Richard Erodes (American Indian Commentary)

Selection 8-3 excerpt from “Triple X” from ESPN: The Magazine by D. Fleming (Essay)

Chapter Summary

Post Test

Selection 8-4 “Indifferent to Inequality” from Newsweek by R. Samuelson (Essay)


Chapter 9: Using Preview, Study-Read, and Review Strategies (PSR)

Questioning Yourself – Preview, Study-Read, Review (PSR)

Preview Stage of Reading

Study-Read Stage of Reading

Review Stage of Reading

Selection 9-1 “Formal Magic” from The Wicca Handbook by E. Holland (Witchcraft)

Practice with Reading Passages

Selection 9-2 “Gay” by A. Quinlin (Social Commentary)

Selection 9-3 “Insufficiency of Honesty” by S. Carter (Essay)

Chapter Summary

Post Test

Selection 9-4 “The Crisis of Authority” from American History: A Survey by A. Brinkley History


Chapter 10: Effective Textbook Marking

What Is Textbook Marking?

Deciding What to Mark

Steps in the Process of Textbook Marking



Mark or Highlight Text

Write Margin Cues

Knowing How Much to Mark

Developing a Personal System of Textbook Marking

Practice with Reading Passages

Selection 10-1 “Basic Issues in Environmental Sciences” from Environmental Science Working with the Earth(Environment)

Selection 10-2 “Controlling Nervousness” from Public Speaking for College and Career (Public Speaking)

Chapter Summary

Post Test

Selection 10-3 “Ageism and Stereotypes" from Aging and the Life Course by J. Quadagno (Gerontology)


Applying What You Have Learned -- Part Two

Selection “Getting to Know Someone Else" from Marriage and Family: Quest for Intimacy by Lauer, R. & Lauer J. (Sociology)

PART THREE: Going beyond the Basics

Chapter 11: Reading, Understanding and Creating Visuals

Understanding and Interpreting Visuals

Why Do Authors Use Visuals Anyway?

Types of Visuals

Charts and Tables




Time Lines

Creating Your Own Visuals

Charts and Tables


Mind Maps

Time Lines

Free-Form Drawings

Selecting the Appropriate Visual

Visual Connection to Test Taking Strategies

Practice with Reading Passages

Selection 11-1 “Many Former Chief Executives Get Lush Perks and Fat Fees for Limited Consulting Work” from The Wall Street Journal by Joann Lublin (Newspaper Article)

Selection 11-2 “Thermocouple” from Reading Technical Books by Eisenberg (Chemistry)

Selection 11-3 “So Far, Steel Tariffs Do Little of What President Envisioned” from The Wall Street Journal by Neil King Jr. and Robert Guy (Newspaper Article)

Chapter Summary

Post Test

Selection 11-4 “Biomedical Therapy: Biological Approaches to Treatment” from Understanding Psychology by Feldman (Medicine)


Chapter 12: Identifying and Evaluating Arguments

What Is an Argument?

Parts of an Argument

Identifying Argument

Argument Word Clues

Types of Arguments

Deductive Arguments

Inductive Arguments

Evaluating Arguments

Determining Dependability in Arguments

Distinguishing Fact from Opinion

Detecting Fallacies

Practice with Reading Passages

Selection 12-1 “Barbie Doll” from Circles on the Water by Marge Piercy (Poetry)

Selection 12-2 “Imagine That Canoeist” from The Detroit News by H. Payne (Cartoon)

Selection 12-3 “Down and Dirtier” from Newsweek by N’Gai Croal (Essay)

Chapter Summary

Post Test

Selection 12-4 “Racial Paranoia” from Hating Whitey and Other Progressive Causes by David Horowitz (Essay)

Chapter 13: Reading beyond the Words

The Knowledge Level of Thinking

The Comprehension Level of Thinking

The Application Level of Thinking

The Analysis Level of Thinking

The Synthesis Level of Thinking

The Evaluation Level of Thinking

Practice with Reading Passages

Selection 13-1 “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” from Twentieth-Century Perspective on History and Government by Martin Luther King Jr. (Essay)

Selection 13-2 “Call Me Crazy, but I Have to Be Myself” from Newsweek by Mary Seymour (Essay)

Chapter Summary

Post Test

Selection 13-3 “Fighting the Failure Syndrome” from Time by Susan Tifft (Essay)


Chapter 14: Evaluating Internet Resources

Accessing Information from the Internet

Seven Steps to Evaluate Internet Information

Know Your Purpose

Double-Check Your Facts and Sources

Consider the Source

Evaluate the “Look” and Content of Site

Consider Intended Audience

Evaluate the Writing

Does Source Match What You Already Know?

Rubrics Rule

Directory of Useful Internet Vocabulary Words

Chapter Summary

Post Test


Applying What You Have Learned -- Part Three

Selection “A Human Perspective” from Human Biology by Mader, S. (Biology)

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