The active reading process, a process all too familiar but one that proves to be the most useful when it comes to understanding and learning the message an author is trying to communicate to us. Active reading includes paying close attention on the readers part, and requires annotations to be made. These annotations include questions, general comments about what the author said, and even connections the reader has made. When I actively read, I follow a series of steps to ensure I understand the author. I begin by reading the text one time through to understand. I then follow up with rereading and making comments. These comments consist of connections I have made to the author and their text. To add, the annotations can include comments relating to the authors word usage, since as an active reading strategy I make sure to pay close attention to the authors words, the pattern they follow, and the literary techniques the author used within his work. A large part of my active reading is the questions I ask. A question, such as the one which was from Michael Erard’s “See through Words” which I asked, “Who is Rilke? Why is time a destroyer?” This question sprouted from when Michael Erard stated, “If you could ask…, or Rilke where he found the notion that time is a destroyer” (1). My questions signify the importance of this section of text, as I have yet to understand it.
Susan Gilroy’s, “Interrogating Texts: 6 Reading Habits to Develop in Your First Year at Harvard” eludes to the importance of active reading and why having good habits and strategies is critical to the process. When referring to questions she states, “they are reminders of the unfinished business you still have with a text.” When questions are asked, the material is not understood. If material has yet to be understood then you cannot be done with it. This is my perception of having questions when it comes to active reading. Gilroy also said to, “Mark up Mark up the margins of your text with words and phrases: ideas that occur to you, notes about things that seem important to you, reminders of how issues in a text may connect with class discussion or course themes. . .” Her statement on annotations is a great point as the more you annotate, the more you tend to understand. I felt her description of annotating is similar to my belief on annotating because when I do not annotate, I understand far less.
With the semester coming to a close, I feel proud in what I have done with active reading and Learning Outcome 3. Throughout the course, we first learned how to properly active read. We were challenged with many active reading assignments which gave us different opportunities to improve at it. This class has taught me to read to understand, reread and annotate, and then respond accurately based off of my thoughts and opinions of the text.