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Try College 101

Unit 4: Reading to Learn   At first glance, you may think that the topic of this unit – reading – is unnecessary. You may think you already know everything there is to know about reading. After all, if you have successfully completed the previous units of this course, you are doing it quite well right now! However, before you skip to the next unit, consider how often you will be asked to read something in college. The truth is, if you approach every reading assignment you receive in college by reading one word after another, you will probably never finish in time.
 
The amount of reading material a college student is responsible for requires types of reading skills that are different from what you likely have been taught in elementary, middle, and high school. This unit will explain how you can learn more in less time during your reading sessions by scanning the body of a text and taking notes before you read, identifying the most important passages to read closely, and then reviewing the important material afterwards.
 
Reading comprehension is actually a skill that you can improve upon for a lifetime. As you read this unit, keep in mind that the goal of effective learning is not to read the text as quickly as possible, but rather to read it as effectively as possible. If, in the past, you have not been able to remember the main points of a text after reading it, you can use the skills presented in this unit to ensure that the time you spend reading future assignments is used in a valuable way.

Unit 4 Time Advisory
Completing this unit should take approximately 5.5 hours:

☐    Subunit 4.1: 0.25 hours

☐    Subunit 4.2: 0.25 hours

☐    Subunit 4.3: 2.75 hours

☐    Subunit 4.4: 0.5 hours

☐    Subunit 4.5: 1 hour
 
☐    Unit 4 Assessment: 0.75 hours

Unit4 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, you will be able to: - explain the purpose of reading in college and how college-level reading differs from other types of reading; - describe how reading fits into the learning cycle; - define active reading and describe each of its four steps; and - describe strategies for finding and focusing on the important parts of a text.

4.1 Assess Your Current Knowledge and Attitudes   - Reading: College Success: “Chapter 5: Reading to Learn” Link: College Success“Chapter 5: Reading to Learn” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Complete the first two self-assessments of Chapter 5, titled “Where Are You Now?” and “Where Do You Want to Go?” You already know how to read, but there are different skills that can enhance your ability to learn through reading. These self-assessment tools, and the brief section that follows, titled “Reading To Learn,” will help you measure where you are now and identify ways in which you can improve your own reading skills.

 Reading and taking notes should take approximately 15 minutes to
complete.  
    
 Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under
a [Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0
License](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/) without
attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

4.1.2 Where Do You Want to Go?   Note: This topic is covered by the reading beneath subunit 4.1.  Complete the assessment to explore your future goals.

4.2 A New Way to Approach Reading   - Reading: College Success: “Chapter 5, Section 5.1: Are You Ready for the Big Leagues?” Link: College Success“Chapter 5, Section 5.1: Are You Ready for the Big Leagues?” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Read the chapter introduction and Section 5.1. This section will help you understand the ways in which reading is going to be different in college. In order to accomplish the maximum amount of learning while reading, you must take a different approach to a text than you did in high school or when you have read for pleasure in the past.
 
Reading this section should take you approximately 15 minutes to complete.
 
Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

4.3 How Do You Read to Learn?   - Reading: College Success: “Chapter 5, Section 5.2: How Do You Read to Learn?” Link: College Success“Chapter 5, Section 5.2: How Do You Read to Learn?” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Read Section 5.2 in its entirety. This section presents the four steps of active reading, an approach to reading a text that will allow you to absorb more information from a text in a shorter amount of time. This is a valuable skill you should work to acquire because you will be responsible for a great deal of reading as a college student! Make sure to complete the checkpoint exercises at the end of the reading.  
Please note that this reading also provides information you need to know for sub-subunits 4.3.1-4.3.3 below.
 
Reading this section and completing the exercises should take approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.
 
Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

4.3.1 Preparing to Read   - Activity: The Saylor Foundation’s “Advanced Reading Skills Practice, Part One” Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Advanced Reading Skills Practice, Part One” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Complete this activity, in which you will practice active reading and the Cornell Method on a text of your choice. Be sure to answer reflective question at the end of this activity.
 
Completing this activity should take approximately 30 minutes depending on the reading selection you choose.

4.3.2 Reviewing What You Read   - Web Media: YouTube: The University of British Columbia: UBC Learning Commons’ “Textbook Reading” Web Media: YouTube: The University of British Columbia: UBC Learning Commons’ “Textbook Reading” (YouTube)
 
Instructions: Watch the video under the heading titled “Learn.” Take notes as you watch, and then review your notes as well as the graphics under the webpage’s heading titled “Visualize.” Finally, complete the exercise under the heading titled “Apply” and email the answers to yourself.
 
Watching this video, taking notes, and completing the exercise should take approximately 15 minutes.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

4.3.3 Practice Your Advanced Reading Skills Now   - Activity: The Saylor Foundation’s “Advanced Reading Skills Practice, Part Two” Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Advanced Reading Skills Practice, Part Two” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Complete this activity, in which you will continue working on the reading selection you chose in the first part of this activity. As you read, you will follow up on the previous activity, answering the questions you wrote down. You will also write a brief reflection on your reading experience.
 
Completing this activity should take approximately 30 minutes, depending on the length of your reading selection.

4.4 Dealing with Special Texts   - Reading: College Success: “Chapter 5, Section 5.3: Dealing with Special Texts” Link: College Success“Chapter 5, Section 5.3: Dealing with Special Texts” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Read this section. Reading in college is unique because, in addition to having a different overall goal for reading, you will also be reading different types of texts. This section discusses the main types of texts you will encounter in college and give you some special strategies for getting the most out of each.
 
Reading this section and taking notes should take you approximately 30 minutes to complete.
 
Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

4.5 Building Your Vocabulary   - Reading: College Success: “Chapter 5, Section 5.4: Building Your Vocabulary” Link: College Success“Chapter 5, Section 5.4: Building Your Vocabulary” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Read this section. Learning new vocabulary is not all about flashcards and memorization. When you read effectively, you absorb the meanings of many words quickly. However, one of the main objectives of many college-level texts, especially in introductory courses, is to provide you with new vocabulary that is specific to the subject matter you are studying. Therefore, you should have a strategy for how to learn and incorporate new words into your writing and verbal communication. Additionally, if one of your reasons for achieving a college education is to advance your career or socioeconomic status, you will want to pay particular attention to eliminating what this text refers to as “lazy speech,” which many people consider to be an indicator of lack of education. Make sure to complete the activities and checkpoint exercises within the text.  
Please note that this reading provides the information you need to know for subunits 4.5.1 and 4.5.2 below. 
 
Reading this section and completing the exercises should take approximately 45 minutes.
 
Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

4.5.1 Lazy Speech   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned beneath Subunit 4.5 above. The activity within the reading will help you become more aware of how you may overuse some common words. For an even more accurate measurement of any “lazy speech” you may use, consider recording a conversation with a friend (with their permission, of course) and listening to yourself, noting any verbal expressions you may want to eliminate.

4.5.2 Building Better Vocabulary Habits through Reading   Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned beneath Subunit 4.5 above. Review the reading’s bulleted tips that present strategies for acquiring new words while reading. In your notebook, make a list of the specific types of new words you may be interested in acquiring through your undergraduate reading. Spend approximately 15 minutes brainstorming and describing the kinds of vocabulary you would like to gain.

Unit 4 Assessment   - Assessment: The Saylor Foundation’s “Active Reading” Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Active Reading” (HTML)
 
Instructions: This quiz will test your understanding of the definition and elements of active reading. If you feel comfortable sharing your answers, consider posting any insights into active reading you may have on the Try College 101 Discussion Board after you finish.
 
Completing this quiz should take approximately 15 minutes.