Developing a Reading Heuristic or Guide for Students

Effective reading strategies can vary by discipline, text-type, and the purpose of the particular reading assignment. They can also vary with the level of the student and the instructor’s purpose in making the assignment. Here are some reading heuristics developed by GSIs and faculty members at UC Berkeley for their Continue Reading >>

Engaged Reading

For many lower-division students, reading is a receptive or decoding process. Give them explicit procedures for making reading a critical, creative process.

Staging the Exchange: Learning to Read and Write Beyond Similarity and Opposition

by Ragini Tharoor Srinivasan, Rhetoric
[A]sked to write an essay that deals with more than one primary text, [students’] tendency is … to either illustrate the ways in which the texts make equivalent arguments, or to pit one text/author against the other… I realized that I needed to do more to teach students what it means to bring two texts “into conversation.”

Elusive Allusions: Discovering Kafka in Coetzee

by Sarah Mangin, English
We spent a few minutes venting about our most memorable Kafkaesque ordeals, from S.A.T. testing nightmares to transcript requests … By cultivating a collaborative environment for thinking about literary allusiveness, our class found opportunities to make these references first familiar and then potent.

X-Axis, Y-Axis, and Zzzz’s: Plotting Narrative at 8 AM

by Wendy Xin, English
How, I wondered, might one instill an understanding of composition useful to engineering, political science, history, biology, literature, and math majors alike, when the nature of assigned readings across disciplines varied so widely? And how would the class find pleasure in engaging metacritically with the concept of narrative at 8 a.m., a time when most of us aren’t even used to experiencing narrative?

Providing Skills, Not Summaries: Improving Reading Comprehension in Political Theory

by Mark Fisher, Political Science
This…made me think quite differently about the GSI’s role in section…While our first impulse is often to try and “translate” the lecture into an idiom they are more comfortable with, this experience convinced me that the greatest service we can perform for students is to teach them the skills needed to speak our language.