Learning Outcome 3

One of the learning outcomes for this English course that my fellow students and I have been working toward since the beginning of this class is to employ techniques of active reading, critical reading, and informal reading response for inquiry, learning, and thinking. Throughout my semester in this course, a big theme I learned for active reading skills was to approach it as a conversation. While reading Harvard Professor Susan Gilroy’s text, “Interrogating Texts : 6 Reading Habits to Develop in Your First Year at Harvard”, I made sure to underline the points that stood out to me, usually because I could relate to them. This is the same technique I have used when annotating other texts – I find something I can relate to or that I appreciate and I mark it. If I don’t fully understand or agree with something an author says, I will respond to it with my thoughts in the margins as if I were talking directly to the author.  Within the first 2 sentences of Gilroy’s excerpt, I made a connection between her thoughts and what we have talked about in class. It reads: “Annotating puts you actively and immediately in a ‘dialogue’ with an author and the issues and ideas you encounter in a written text. It’s also a way to have an ongoing conversation with yourself…” (Gilroy). This technique can be seen in my annotations on the first page of Yo Yo Ma’s essay “Necessary Edges: Arts, Empathy, and Education”, which I have included images of below. In this demonstration of having a conversation with the text, I ask questions and respond with my own thoughts in the margins, along with underlining the key points or marking terms I need to define for a better understanding. A key part of the approach in which I engage in a conversation with the text is voicing my reactions to what the author is saying. Two examples of my reactions in informal writing can be found in the following blog posts:  Blog 8 and Blog 13