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2010 Workshops by Lee Carleton...
"Digital Reading & Research Strategies"
Is online reading significantly different than reading a physical book?
If so how? and why is this significant?
What new tools do we have access to when reading online?
How can we sort out the relevant, reliable resources from thousands of search engine hits for more efficient searches?
How do we cite our sources properly and how can we cite the text most effectively to support our writing?
This video "Help Desk" is an amusing look at the challenge of learning how to use new technologies - at one time, even the book was new and unfamiliar.
The humor of the situation can help to disarm our hesitation to dive in to using new technologies to begin increasing our digital literacy and enhancing our alpha literacy.
"The Digital Reading Revolution"
by Victor Keegan
"Digital Reading Spaces: How expert readers handle books, the Web and digital paper."
by Terje Hillesund
Using MS Word, Wikis or Google Docs as your super-scribe
Citing sources effectively:
TADS - title, author, date, source = key info when first introducing a text
ICE - introduce, cite, explain = effective citation involves brief intro and specific explanation of relevance
Call on your legion of "find" tools and search engines in Google, .PDFs, Word documents, your favorite browser...
Resources on NEWS sites: compare media offered, amount & type of advertising, story length & word choice.
New York Times
Wikipedia List of file formats
Familiarity with the 'suffixes' on files or the "file format" designation can be important and useful, especially for multimedia work and digital collaboration.
Never ever to be cited as a source - but a good place to begin to get an overview or a few leads for other resources.
College or University Library
Don't forget that
is still a powerful tool for research. Browse journal collections like JSTOR and note how search terms are highlighted in each document in the search list and note that you can download a .pdf file or search the document online.
Refine your searches to filter out the weakest or least relevant sources
, click "advanced search" and enter search terms or filter you results according to domain: .
com, .net, .org, .gov, .edu
"Critical Reading for Writing"
What is "critical reading?" How can we read challenging texts in order to
In this workshop we will outline a few key reading strategies
for writing before applying them to some short texts during the workshop.
Note the image at the right - what does it imply about critical reading?
In every communication situation, the concerns that guide your reading & writing decisions can be summarized with the acronym
where are you and why are you writing?
who is the intended or potential recipient of your writing?
what do you hope to accomplish or what response would you like in your readers?
Reading is always a central preparation for writing, even when the reading is unrelated.
One of the first strategies to apply is that of
"markup" in the texts you read.
Markup is anything done to a text to assist the reader's comprehension
and this includes punctuation,
paragraphing, subtitles, layout, images and annotation. Early texts like Cuneiform,did not include the standard markup
we have come to take for granted. The code behind this web page is called "HTML" or Hypertext Markup Language
indicating that even in the digital age, readers continue to require assistance to maximize comprehension. Below
is an excerpt of an essay I wrote with all markup removed - it is readable but would take much longer to "decode."
The next important strategy for critical reading is "active reading" or reading with annotation and
When we read with pen & highlighter in hand we are more engaged and more alert to the meaning of the text as well as our understanding of it. During active reading you can highlight unfamiliar vocabulary to look up, mark passages that are confusing or passages that you find relevant to your writing task. Using different colored highlighters strategically can make a text much easier to access. For example,
could mark words or references to research,
could mark passages you might cite for support in your writing and
could highlight passages that are not fully clear that you would like to discuss or explore further - you can invent your own system. Other aspects of a text to highlight or annotate include key terms, assumptions, claims, metaphors, structure, repetitions and descriptions.
When a text offers little markup other than paragraphing you must look for other cues like spacing, asterisks, or super capitalization. In the absence of such subtle cues readers can enhance the text by writing their own outline in the margins to help orient their reading.
Any notes, questions or comments you write in the margins of a text are your "annotations" (sometimes called a "gloss") and these too can become useful tools for expanding your understanding.
Annotations can include
challenges to the claims
of a text, information or
, notes of
ideas for writing
or observations about
that can help you get your ideas flowing later when you begin to write. When you write about a text, it is important to know and convey a minimum of the "4 keys" or four pieces of key information:
Title, Author, Date & Source
(TADS) when you first introduce a text. Afterward, you can simply refer to the author or an abbreviation of the title. Use of these key specific details gives a writer greater credibility with readers. For certain types of writing requiring bibliographic information additional specific information may be required but is usually not cited within the text.
Do a quick reading of the first three pages of
"The Eureka Hunt"
from The New Yorker and don't worry if you do not complete the entire article. Use your
mark unfamiliar words & references
as well as
passages that are not clear to you
. In your
passages that demonstrate evidence of research
and try to
categorize the general subject area
the writer might have researched to find this information such as "history," "biology," "psychology," etc.
Your annotations can also be
questions written next to the unclear passages you have highlighted
What is this essay about? How would you paraphrase its thesis?
How does Lehrer begin the article and why?
What do you notice about the way he introduces his main source of information?
What are the markup cues that reveal the basic structure of the article?
What subtitles could you insert and where would you place them?
"Living Like Weasels"
in its entirety and use your highlighter in the same manner as you did for "The Eureka Hunt."
How would you categorize or describe this essay? In what specific ways does it differ from "The Eureka Hunt?"
Examine Dillard's essay for
claims, metaphors, structure, repetitions and descriptions.
Compositions on Air and Paper
How is listening to a scary story around a campfire different than reading
that same story alone in your house? Why do we struggle with writing but
we rarely have "speaker's block?" What is the relationship between speech
and print? An exploration of the fertile boundary between speech and
writing to expand our understanding of language and enhance our ability to
gather and organize our thoughts for verbal or written delivery.
What stories do you remember from childhood (or more recently) shared around a fire or a kitchen table?
Have you ever memorized something for recitation? Can you recite it now?
What do you remember about when you first started talking?
We have all had "writer's block" but why don't we get "talkers block?"
Do you move your lips when you read? Did you know that writing was not originally meant for silent, personal reading?
see Alberto Manguel: Chapter 2
A History of Reading
(New York; Viking, 1996).
"Ambrose was an extraordinary reader. "When he read," said Augustine, "his eyes scanned the page and his heart sought out the meaning, but his voice was silent and his tongue was still. Anyone could approach him freely and guests were not commonly announced, so that often, when we came to visit him, we found him reading like this in silence, for he never read aloud....To Augustine, however, such reading manners seemed sufficiently strange for him to note them in his Confessions. The implication is that this method of reading, this silent perusing of the page, was in his time something out of the ordinary, and that normal reading was performed out loud. Even though instances of silent reading can be traced to earlier dates, not until the tenth century does this manner of reading become usual in the West."
Graphemes vs. Phonemes
" is a logogram or a symbol that represents a
" is a phonogram or a symbol that represents a
Which of these words describes our alphabet?
teach us about our symbol systems?
Word Nerd notes I
Denotations vs. Connotations - knowledge of language & audience
Differing connotations for “gun” and “rhetoric”
Scan passage from
Morton’s 1637 “Revels”
to note pre-Webster flexible spelling
1828 Noah Webster fixes spelling
authority, English language from 1100 - present, 600,000+ words - intro: definitions and etymologies
monster, hybrid, write, educate, instruct, student
Regular consultation can clarify meaning, surprise and suggest ideas for writing
Suggestions for words to look up?
exercises: what are the synonyms for the words
begin to reflect upon nuances of meaning and sonic qualities of your diction
etymology “to carry” – dangers of over application
what do they do?
metaphors of analysis:
decode, unpack, deconstruct, mine
useful for writing, creates interest, clarifies and organizes when extended, as in Hamlet’s answer to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern below.
(act 3, scene 2, lines: 355-365)
Why, look you now, how unworthy a thing you make of
me! You would
me; you would
seem to know
; you would
the heart of
mystery; you would
sound me from
lowest note to
the top of
: and there is much music,
excellent voice, in this
; yet cannot
you make it speak. 'Sblood, do you think I am
easier to be
on than a pipe?
Call me what
instrument you will, though you can
me, yet you
Word Nerd notes II
Deliberately developing an enthusiasm for words and language can be a fun and useful way to enhance writing effectiveness and rekindle the joy of creativity. The Oxford English Dictionary is a valuable resource for mining maximum meaning from language and etymology can be a powerful tool for developing an essay. Conscious and considered use of metaphor can serve not only to clarify an idea, but help organize an essay. Reading aloud is also a crucial practice for editing as well as developing an ear for the music of language. These and other approaches can improve our writing and enhance our enjoyment of language.
Words & their enhancements...
Books & Journals: maximizing their useful features to speed research.
Abstract, contents, notes, index, bibliography.
Strong's Exhaustive Concordance
is now digital and more powerful than ever.
A digital version of the old concordance is the "tag cloud" that signifies word frequency according to font size.
offers a free service that lets you generate such a visual for any text.
How might this be useful?
in Word, or
in .pdf documents to enhance navigation.
Try it with "The Interpreter" from
The New Yorker
[[file/view/New Yorker Interpreter.pdf|New Yorker Interpreter.pdf]]
You can also do this with your
. In Firefox, I click on Edit, then Find and the
search bar opens at the bottom. In Safari, it is the same procedure but the bar is on top.
The first writing was called
and it was done with pointed sticks and clay tablets.
The distinctive markings were run together without breaks, punctuation or other "markup."
Early texts would have looked much like this:
kinda gives ya' new respect for punctuation and all them annoying formatting practices, don't it?
(what am I doing with grammar in this sentence? what do you call this?)
For more appreciation of the power of markup and the importance of proper punctuation, punctuate this sentence
woman without her man is nothing
without her man
man is nothing
help on how to format text
Turn off "Getting Started"