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17.6: Teaching Readers and Writers to Summarize

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  • Teaching Reading and Writers to Summarize

    1. activate prior knowledge by answering a question based on the title of the reading passage prior to reading it; 

    2. read a textbook passage; 

    3. check off items on a reading comprehension strategy checklist to indicate strategies used while reading; 

    4. select two words from a list of five technical terms (e.g., reactivity, anaerobic) or more general vocabulary (e.g., substance, matrix) from the text, look them up in a paper or online dictionary, copy the definition that fits with the passage, and then “write one sentence to explain the word to a friend;” 

    5. answer a self-efficacy question (based on Kitsantas & Zimmerman, 2009) on a 3-point scale concerning the vocabulary selected in the previous step (“If you see the word in a college textbook in the future, how sure are you that you will understand it immediately? Circle one number.”); 

    6. prepare to write a summary of the reading passage by answering a series of questions focusing directly on main ideas explicitly stated in the passage; 

    7. write the summary; 

    8. answer a self-monitoring question about whether all the information from the prior answers to the main idea questions had been included in the summary, whether other 8 ideas were included, whether the student’s own words had been used, and whether the student had reread and corrected the summary; 

    9. formulate a question that an instructor might ask in class about the passage and then answer the question (based on Rosenshine, Meister, & Chapman, 1996); 

    10. take a 3-question multiple-choice reading comprehension quiz based on the passage; 

    11. write one or two paragraphs expressing an opinion on a controversy related to topic of the reading passage (based on De La Paz, 2005; Osborne, 2010; Schultz, 2003)—a simplification of an argumentative essay (see Ferretti, Lewis, & Andrews-Weckerly, 2009) tailored to students’ abilities determined in pilot testing—which required the statement of the opinion, one reason for the opinion, and three supporting details; and finally,

    12. judge the quality of the persuasive writing sample on a 6-point quality rubric used by the college where pilot testing had occurred but not by the colleges participating in the current study. At the end of each unit, students were asked to state how long they had taken to complete it.

    Perin, Dolores, et al. "A Contextualized Curricular Supplement for Developmental Reading and Writing." 

    Journal of College Reading and Learning 43.2 (2013): 8-38.