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Reading like a Scholar Activity 2021 Wednesday

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Jun 4
Leah Pongratz (Jun 04 2021 8:56AM) : In order to make this easier for me to read, I would circle complex words and replace them with simpler words that make the same meaning. Then, I would re-read my "new" sentences to get gain clarity on the text's meaning. [Edited] more

I would also make use of the annotation features to highlight, make connections, determine important ideas, and ask questions as I read. Engaging with the text in this way will help me to retain information and easily refer back to notes I’ve made. If I came across a phrase or sentence that I could not comprehend, I would likely underline it so that I could keep reading and refer back to it later. That way I could try to use the surrounding text to make meaning of it.

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Jun 4
Kim Casimbon (Jun 04 2021 10:56AM) : I like the idea of rewriting the sentences for easier comprehension. [Edited] more

I really like your idea of writing sentences in a way that helps you as the reader understand the text more, which I can see as an advantage when retaining information. I would definitely consider your strategy when reading complex text. In addition to replace complex terms, I started writing out a brief summary of what I understood from the text once I was able to decipher what it was about. This strategy was to help me so that when I go back to the text, I do not have to reread everything. Depending on the length of the text, I think your strategies can be beneficial to help readers understand the text better; however, it may be a challenge to do this in longer texts for it may take longer to complete the reading.

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Jun 4
Leah Pongratz (Jun 04 2021 11:24AM) : Agreed Kim! Longer texts are going to require me to discern what's import versus the minute details that I don't need. Hopefully that will be a good start at still comprehending, but more efficiently.
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Jun 5
Ms. Diana Sung (Jun 05 2021 8:21AM) : prioritized reading more

I think the prioritized reading is going to be essential for us to all survive this experience! Thank you for the reminder.

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Jun 9
Mr. Tunji Sawyer (Jun 09 2021 8:45PM) : I always start with a little bit of pre-reading which may involve some margin notes or other electronic notes.
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Jun 7
Nicole Palmore (Jun 07 2021 1:53PM) : Reading Strategy more

Another strategy I often use is reading the summary, the introductory paragraph, and the concluding paragraph first. That strategy gives me a sense of where the article is going, so I am better able to follow the path as I read for my detail.

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Jun 10
Ms. Davina Orieukwu (Jun 10 2021 6:56PM) : Introduction paragraphs are useful! more

I agree using the introduction as a starting point can be key to summoning what knowledge you may know that is pertinent to the text. As basic as it sounds the introduction is there inform readers of what is to come but sometimes in it can be easy to skip over the valuable information and start looking at the body of the text.

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Jun 10
Ms. Davina Orieukwu (Jun 10 2021 6:31PM) : Paraphrasing is a great way to engage more

Leah great suggestion! Being able to paraphrase so that you can understand the context of the reading in your own personal way is definitely a way to engage in conversational reading. Even if your thoughts and the authors thoughts may not necessarily align word for word, there is still an added benefit to paraphrasing.

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Jun 4
Kim Casimbon (Jun 04 2021 11:25AM) : I usually skim the headings and look for the thesis statement before I dive into the actual reading. I also look up terms that I am not familiar with. I also summarize the main ideas and incorporate my own thoughts of the text/context and post questions. more

Prior to reading any text in depth, I typically would start by skimming through headers and thesis statements. This strategy has helped me gain a sense of what the text could be about and what information to look for during my reading. Similar to Leah’s strategy of replacing complex terms with similar meaning, I also look up terms that I am not familiar with and replace the complex term with simpler words to help me further understand what the sentence is about. Since English is not my first language, reading complex texts has always been a challenge for me. Therefore, I had to learned ways to help me with reading comprehension and critical thinking. I started to write out a brief summary of the text with my thoughts about the content at the end of each reading to help me with information retention. This These strategies has also helped me to start developing the habit of trying to connect the material to my own ideas. By doing so, I am able to engage with the reading by posting questions for further clarification and doing my own research on the content.

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Jun 5
Ms. Diana Sung (Jun 05 2021 8:19AM) : I love your core idea of translating the ideas into your own words and connecting it with your own thoughts--very helpful. more

One note on skimming that I’ve run into: watch out for some complex texts that don’t always put the thesis statements in usual places—one way to do that is to look for some of those key words for transitions & directional sentences

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Jun 5
Kim Hirschmann (Jun 05 2021 1:16PM) : I appreciate the reminder about thesis statements in usual places. I have always been a skimmer first, but the reminder is helpful that more complex texts may be less likely to follow a predictable form.
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Jun 5
Kim Casimbon (Jun 05 2021 3:08PM) : Noting thesis statements location more

I feel so happy when I encounter a text that is written in simple terms that I can understand the main take away. For complex thesis like this, I agree that there are some text that the thesis statement is not where they usually are. It can get tricky in finding them sometimes, but your reminder will be extremely helpful.

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Jun 7
Nicole Palmore (Jun 07 2021 1:58PM) : Summarizing key concepts more

I have always been a margin writer, so when I finally decipher part of the article, I will write my summary of the section in a few words and any lingering questions to return to later.

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Jun 7
TIm Bibo (Jun 07 2021 8:56PM) : Does margin-writing work for you? more

My practice has been to keep a document with all of the highlights from each of my readings. That worked well when I was always working from a desktop computer with two monitors. These days, I am finding that I am working from multiple locations and with laptops and smaller devices. So I need to figure out something new.

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Jun 9
Mr. Tunji Sawyer (Jun 09 2021 8:48PM) : Color-coded highlights have proven helpful for me whether digitally or manually. [Edited]
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Jun 9
Monique Ransom (Jun 09 2021 11:23PM) : Kim, I like your approach for skimming readings by initially reviewing the headers and thesis because this can help with directing your focus when reading a text especially when it's dense. Thank you for this pro tip. [Edited]
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Jun 5
Lacie Doyle (Jun 05 2021 8:45PM) : Give yourself a break. more

It can be mentally exhausting trying to understand each section of a challenging article fully, so put it down and come back to it when you have had a minute to rest and regroup. Perhaps read something not as challenging in the meantime.

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Jun 7
Nicole Palmore (Jun 07 2021 1:50PM) : Yes, Lacie! I take brain breaks and encourage my kids too also.
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Jun 7
Nicole Palmore (Jun 07 2021 1:48PM) : I once read Maya Angelou paraphrasing Nathaniel Hawthorne, "easy reading is damn hard writing." I feel that the entire process of writing, reading, and understanding is challenging. I used to become frustrated if I had to reread texts. Now,I expect that!
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Jun 8
Corey Armstrong (Jun 08 2021 5:38AM) : Dealing with challenging text more

Agreed! Often when I come across difficult text (and no one else is around) I will read it out loud. Reading it out loud for me, and using my own voice, will sometimes allow a better understanding and/or translation. Sometimes saying it out loud with a different emphasis on certain words can clarify meaning. This has helped me a great deal over the years.

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Jun 13
Erica Ellsworth (Jun 13 2021 5:30PM) : One thing I try to do after reviewing headers to to look at the first sentence of each paragraph. Usually this is a topic sentence and can give me the main idea. It's also a good check once I have read the paragraph to see what questions I have.
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Jun 5
Ms. Diana Sung (Jun 05 2021 8:06AM) : If assigned just a section of text, I will often look at transitional sentences that lead into the text. Here, the author frames the whole section and sets a purpose.
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Jun 7
TIm Bibo (Jun 07 2021 8:59PM) : Excellent point regarding good composition more

Many of us encounter so much bad writing in our daily lives, that we need to pause and reflect on the clues that good writers are sending our way :)

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Jun 13
Erica Ellsworth (Jun 13 2021 5:34PM) : Yes! The summary/transitional sentences can give a lot of clues. Plus, it's a check for us as we are reading -- did the writer give us what they said they would?
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Jun 5
Ms. Diana Sung (Jun 05 2021 8:10AM) : Looking for opinion words that highlight where the authors position themselves in this conversation before explaining it helps understand their introduction of other scholars' work.
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Jun 5
Lacie Doyle (Jun 05 2021 8:39PM) : I like this idea because it lends to engaging in a conversation with the author(s). Like reading non-verbal cues, understanding the opinions and positions helps conceptualize what they are trying to tell you. You can then respond with, "do I agree?".
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Jun 8
Kurt Sudbrink (Jun 08 2021 8:55PM) : I like this. I can imagine a conversation. [Edited] more

Sometimes when reading I get wrapped up in the emotion and argument of the author. I can lose a critical eye. By identifying opinion words and labelling them as such I can understand that the author is trying to convince me of this and I should be conscious of that fact.

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Jun 5
Ms. Diana Sung (Jun 05 2021 8:16AM) : The writers have a nice clear signal sentence that they will sum up their two main criticisms of the point discussed in this section; very helpful to observe these organizational indicators.
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Jun 5
Kim Hirschmann (Jun 05 2021 1:17PM) : Can you clarify "signal sentence"?
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Jun 13
Ms. Diana Sung (Jun 13 2021 9:42PM) : signal sentence more

A signal sentence is a sentence that just identifies meta-information about the argument, not presenting the argument itself. Examples would be things like: “We have three reasons for taking this approach.” or “The researchers found two significant differences in the groups they surveyed.” Just presents info, not content.

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Jun 5
Kim Hirschmann (Jun 05 2021 1:21PM) : When I first read a title/heading/subheading, I first try to establish if I have any prior knowledge of the topic. This helps me to frame the reading and put it into a context. It allows me to look for the author's arguments.
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Jun 5
Kim Casimbon (Jun 05 2021 3:12PM) : Prior knowledge to understand the text and researching new concepts to help with reading comprehension and entering the conversation more

Prior knowledge is definitely helpful in providing the context of the text that you are reading. I agree that this will help in understanding the author’s motivation in the text, which ties back to our readings this week about collecting information about the conversation at hand to understand where it is going and how we as someone in the conversation can contribute. Sometimes when I have no prior knowledge on a subject, I quickly look up what it is so that I do not get lost in the reading and completely miss the main point(s) of the text.

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Jun 5
Lacie Doyle (Jun 05 2021 9:05PM) : Where was the piece published? more

Like reading and understanding the titles and headings, it is helpful to know where the article was published. If the articles are found using peer-reviewed journals in your area of expertise, you may better understand the terms and patterns used in the literature. For example, articles found using the Education Resources Information Center (ERIC) journals list or The Journal of Higher Education are easier for me to understand than CINAHL (Cumulative Index of Nursing and Allied Health). Both are important, but I know ERIC information may be easier for me to follow.

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Jun 5
Lacie Doyle (Jun 05 2021 8:10PM) : When there are challenging paragraphs, or I am struggling with a particular sentence structure, I will seek out and focus on direct quotes if they are provided. more

Direct quotes may not always be available, but when they are, they help me read the passage from a different individual’s perspective, and that slight adjustment can sometimes be the thing that helps ideas and concepts click.

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Jun 8
Ed.D. Student Kristen Gingery (Jun 08 2021 10:06PM) : Feedback to Lacie: more

Your suggestion to search for direct quotes is very useful because that is where the “voice of the author” will be present. Excellent suggestion!

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Jun 5
Lacie Doyle (Jun 05 2021 8:28PM) : Seek individuals who can help you decipher the text. more

When a piece of literature or research feels like it is over my head or I am struggling to comprehend the big ideas of the article, I will seek help from those whose expertise is in the subject area the piece is referencing. Chances are, they have read similar articles and would be able to break it down in a way that is easily understandable for a layperson. I believe in the buddy system, so if there is anything others struggle with, I will do my best to help in turn.

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Jun 7
Kim Hirschmann (Jun 07 2021 11:17AM) : I think this is going to be key for me as well as I work through the doctoral program. At this level I feel as though I am hyper aware of personal deficiencies, and having the ability to collaborate with others is going to be important.
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Jun 7
Nicole Palmore (Jun 07 2021 2:03PM) : If I truly want to understand the depth of an argument, I will consult another resource for background, e.g., Durkheim's social factor. (I think I remember him from undergrad.)
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Jun 13
Erica Ellsworth (Jun 13 2021 5:35PM) : I would also make a quick notation of this idea. It may mean a quick Google search or something that was noted earlier. Calling it out can be a reminder.
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Jun 7
TIm Bibo (Jun 07 2021 9:03PM) : Jargon or unique phrasing can confuse me at first, but understanding those terms can shed light on the subject. more

In this case, I had to look up “Lamarckism.” Once I understood that term, which was appropriate for this paragraph, the rest of the meaning fell into place for me.

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Jun 9
Monique Ransom (Jun 09 2021 11:40PM) : I also struggle with not getting through a text when I don't have prior knowledge of the subject matter. However, upon receiving context, I annotate in the margin to create a reference point when reviewing the remainder of the text.
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Jun 8
Kurt Sudbrink (Jun 08 2021 9:12PM) : The author appears to recognize the complexity of the of this writing and so makes a point to draw us into the the debate by highlighting the "we" used by Feilds. more

This felt purposeful and meant to bring me deeper into the conversation. It is is a good tool to keep readers motivated to read on even if they are getting tired.

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Jun 8
Ed.D. Student Kristen Gingery (Jun 08 2021 10:18PM) : The author has referenced a well-known and consequently significant speech given by Dr. Martin Luther King to frame the theme of the text. So, my suggestion as a reader is to look for the statements that are familiar when conducting your 1st read through.
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Look for the opinionated language... 0
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Jun 8
Ed.D. Student Kristen Gingery (Jun 08 2021 10:22PM) : Look for the author's opinionated language to decipher the thesis statement of the work. It is hard to hold back your intent when using clear language-based on your own personal view.
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Jun 10
Ms. Davina Orieukwu (Jun 10 2021 6:52PM) : Lacie made a great point to look for direct quotes. By doing that we essentially bring another voice into the conversation which is could be an added advantage of realizing new perspectives and subsequently a new level of comprehension. more

Paying a bit more attention to direct quotes also directs you to the reference list. Taking a deeper look at the reference list can provide much more of a foundational understanding of the text and also work to create a more complete picture.

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Jun 13
Erica Ellsworth (Jun 13 2021 5:32PM) : I highlight author names so I can check the references and/or see what else they have written. A quick search can sometimes give me a better foundation for their ideas.
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Jun 13
Erica Ellsworth (Jun 13 2021 5:33PM) : I look for shifts in ideas or words that denote the idea is continuing. This is a great way to take a moment and get ready for the new idea. When I take notes, I highlight these words to remind me of the new idea.

DMU Timestamp: May 31, 2018 00:33

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Jun 8
Corey Armstrong (Jun 08 2021 5:29AM) : Quick summary of each paragraph more

I had an english teacher in HS that had us paraphrase or summarize complicated sections of readings into 1 or 2 sentences. For this, and similar to others, I had to do the same here – breaking down each paragraph and either underline a sentence that captures the main thought, or add my own mental or physical notes. Likewise, the substitution of words and concepts is the only way for me to be able to truly understand this text.

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Jun 8
Ed.D. Student Kristen Gingery (Jun 08 2021 10:04PM) : Strategies to make sense of this text more

I frequently read complex text multiple times. The first time I read through the article in its entirety. Then, I go back and highlight key themes or consistent language that is used frequently throughout the document to look for patterns. Once the themes have been identified, I re-read and take notes with my own personal deductions from the article.

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