“Talk To The Text” (T4)
Writing in the Margins
This table provides six strategies that help readers understand texts. While making connections, clarifying information or doing other work defined on this page, write down your thoughts in the margins of the text, on sticky notes or in your Cornell Notes.
Visualize what the author is saying and draw an illustration tin the margin. Visualizing what authors say will help you clarify complex concepts and ideas.
When visualizing ask:
· What does this look like?
· How can I draw this concept/idea?
· What visual and/or symbol best represents the idea?
Briefly summarize paragraphs or sections of a text. Summarizing is a good way to keep track of essential information while gaining control of lengthier passages.
· State what the paragraph is about
· Describe what the author is doing
· Account for the key terms and/or ideas
Clarify complex ideas presented in the text. Readers clarify ideas through a process of analysis, synthesis and evaluation. Pausing to clarify ideas will increase your understanding if the ideas in the text.
In order to clarify information you might:
· Define/look up key terms
· Reread sections of the text
· Analyze or connect ideas in the text
· Paraphrase or summarize ideas
· Create an analogy
Make connections within the reading to your own life and to the world. Making connections with improve your comprehension of text.
While reading, you might ask:
· How does this relate to me?
· How does this idea relate to other ideas in the text/course/unit?
· How does this relate to the world?
Respond to ideas in the text as you read. Your responses can be personal or analytical in nature. Thoughtful responses will increase engagement and comprehension.
Readers will often respond to:
· Interesting ideas
· Emotional arguments
· Provocative statements
· Author’s claims
· Facts, data and other support
Question both the ideas in the text and your own understanding of the text. Asking good questions while reading will help you become a more critical reader.
While reading, you might ask:
· What is the author saying here?
· What is the author doing?
· What do I understand so far?
· What is the purpose of this section?
· What do I agree/disagree with?
We are limited in the amount of time we spend in class yet have a great deal of material to cover before the end of the semester. You are responsible for the material covered in the assigned text even if it is not discussed in class. Below is the rationale for the reading log:
What is important/interesting to you? This section should be functional to you as a study guide. (Your notes must reflect the content from the assigned section.) For the first two weeks we will all do the same note-taking style and then you will be able to choose later in the course.
What are your thoughts in response to the reading? Be specific and express yourself articulately. You must include at least three questions and/or personal connections to the text. You can have three questions or three connections or a mix of the two. I will try to respond to your questions on your RLs or in class. Do not ask “Right There” questions. Making personal connections (memories/prior experiences) to the text are valuable because it will help you learn and remember the material (Knowing what something is like = knowing something.
How to Get Full Credit
Completed on time name, assignment number, and sections read indicated. Response section contains at least three reflections that clearly show thoughtful reading. Notes contain plentiful, essential information from each section of the text.
1) Set up two columns. Label the left column “Evidence” and the right column “Interpretation”
* In the Evidence column, take notes in the following format:
H: Heading (Blue, Green, or White)
V: Any vocabulary that show up in this chunk of reading.
S: Write a 1 sentence summary for EVERY paragraph.
*When you reach a new heading, you are starting a
new chunk of reading. Start over again with “H”
2) In the Interpretation column, use talk-to-the-text strategies to make sense of what you read. (Ask questions, clarify, visualize, draw and label diagrams, etc.)
Example: Chapter 1.1