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Hello, this is Cecilia. Reading and making sense of large
quantities of text is difficult without efficient reading strategies. And in this video, I will talk about
some ways of approaching new texts. First of all if you understand the anatomy
of a text, it's much easier to read it. In other words knowing how scholarly
books and articles are structured, how different parts of
the text are related and what their functions are will help you
access what might be complex arguments. Book volumes such as monographs and edited collections have tables
of contents and often indexes. If you start by looking at these, you will get a quick idea of
the contents of the work. Then scan the introductory chapter of the
book where you will find a presentation of the main topic and argument, as well as
get an idea of the structure of the work. When it comes to scholarly journal
articles, you can use a similar strategy. Although there will not be a table of
contents or an index attached to articles, you will often find a short
summary called an abstract and sometimes a list of keywords, which will
help you get an idea of the contents. Reading the introduction of an article
will also help you form an idea of what the article is about and
what its argument is. Now, the kind of reading I've outlined so far is sometimes referred
to as predatory reading. Predatory animals, like sharks and
wolves, are focused hunters. And, in a similar way, predatory readers know how to first
tackle a text in an efficient way. Let me stress, though, that whereas this reading strategy works
well when you first approach a text, it's not a method to use when you
are reading for in-depth understanding. In other words, depending on your purpose,
you need to read texts in different ways. Predatory reading is
the strategy to use when you want to identify central concepts and
to get the first overview of a text. But in order to draw on a text in your
own writing, you will need to read it carefully to make sure that you
fully understand the argument so that you can refer to it and
discuss it in an appropriate manner. This more in-depth type of reading
is a type of close reading where you engage with a text
on an analytical level. Close readers make notes or
underline, they write annotations or comments to themselves
about the texts they read. In short, they interact with
the text in order to understand it. Engaging closely with a text in this way
essentially means investigating various levels of that text. What parallels are there? How has the author chosen to
present his or her argument. What references have been used,
and in what way? Of course you must make sure
you understand the text and how the author advances his or
her argument throughout the text. Remember that non-native readers
often need to read scholarly texts with a dictionary in hand. Even if we know the subject, we may not be fully proficient in
the language used to discuss it. To sum up, depending on your purpose,
you need different reading strategies from predatory scanning to get a quick
overview to close reading for an in depth understanding of the text. [MUSIC]

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