Go through numerous articles and have the student decide which information is "focus" information (important for the point of the articles), and what is "framing" information (analogies, digressions, metaphor, example, etc).
Encourage your student to keep notecards for each reading. On the notecard, she should include:
- title, author, source and page numbers
- selected quotes and page numbers that best illustrate the essay
- the student’s response to the reading
Have the student bring the card to class or to the tutorial. She can use this card to refer to in class discussion, as well as a starting point for an essay. As a teacher or tutor, talk to the student about her quotes and how they illustrate the essay. Next, help the student see how these quotes and responses can be integrated into the construction of an essay.
Have students read each text 3 times:
the first time to find only factual information (who, what, when, where, etc.)
the second read could be in response to reading questions
the third read could be to generate ideas for a writing assignment
You could help students with reading comprehension by giving them both "forward" and "backward" reading questions. The forward questions will help them focus their reading toward a certain purpose, and the backward questions allow students to review the text from various angles.
Learning Strategies for Adults by Sandra Crux (94-97), offers some very useful suggestions for reading strategies:
a. the ConStruct Procedure:
start with a rapid skimming of the text: look at the title, the subtitles, the first sentence of each paragraph, any illustrations, charts, etc. Then, start a diagram that includes the important information you have found
next, do a more thorough reading of the text, this time reading to understand, but with no stress toward remembering points. Add any new important material to your diagram.
Before beginning a third and forth reading, look over the diagram and make sure that it makes sense. Try to figure out what does not make sense and check back through the text to find this information.
The final reading involves looking for more specific details, and anything that will fill out the diagram.
b. the Multipass Procedure: this strategy is for students who are required to do a lot of reading.
Survey: quickly read the text only looking at titles, subtitles, etc. (same as above).
Size-up: Use any questions/focus your instructor gave you, review questions that might come at the end of the reading, or decide on your own purpose for reading this text, and focus only on finding information that answers or responds to that.
Sorting-out: Review notes you have made and check for any information that has not yet been answered or found.
Predict: Try to predict what one section of the text is going to be about (you can do this by the subsections set up in the reading, or by paragraph).
Read and Prove: Read the passage carefully and try to find evidence to prove your prediction. Repeat this for each section.
When teaching students to respond to texts, break the steps up so that the student can follow these steps each time she faces a reading-to-writing type of assignment. One way to break this up is:
Start with questions in order to focus the reading, like
For what purpose was this written?
What is the main thing the author wants to get across to me?
What is the most important example in the text?
Create a note card for the text, including quotes and notes.
Use the card to brainstorm ideas for a paper
Organize thoughts into an outline
Write at least 3 drafts, reading each 3 times before revising