Friday, June 3, 2011

Active Reading Notes

Some of you have asked me about how to take active reading notes. I suggest that you focus on three categories of ideas: 1)passages that significantly contribute to your understanding; 2)passages that illustrate a particular literary technique or characteristic of the text; and 3)passages that elicit a personal response from you. As you can see from the example below, when I read the first chapter of Like Water for Chocolate I underlined passages and made notes about (1) symbolism, foreshadowing, and other hints that helped me "get" what the author was trying to say; (2) examples of magical realism, characterization and plot development; and (3) actions or dialogue that made me sit up and take notice (you may find yourself asking questions, or vehemently agreeing/disagreeing, but any time you have an intense reaction is an important moment in the text).

Because many of you will be taking notes on a book you don't own, use your own paper to write the notes-- and keep track of the page numbers! That way when we discuss them you'll be able to refer to the context.

Check back here frequently over the summer. I will post items for discussion so that when we meet in August you'll be ready.

active reading notes lwcf jan -

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