Learning Outcome 3: Employ techniques of active reading, critical reading, and informal reading response for inquiry, learning, and thinking.
Active reading and annotation skills are crucial to engaging and understanding a difficult piece of writing. Examples in Susan Gilroy’s writing from Harvard Library: Research Guides, “Interrogating Texts: 6 Reading Habits to Develop in Your First Year at Harvard”, of effective skills to use while engaging with a text are very similar to the skills we discussed in English 110 throughout the entire year. An example within my annotations of Yo-Yo Ma’s text is when I question Ma by saying “can science create the same empathy?”. By questioning the text a reader is able to attempt to find solutions within the text itself or find more information from outside sources to answer the questions a text created. In my informal writing, I discuss how my own life relates to the text. I realized that my own experiences in life end up shaping the view I have on a certain topic or stance of an author. Creating connections with a text make it more relatable and allow a reader to understand why a text is important. Prior to the information, I have learned in English 110 the term “annotations” simply meant underlining, highlighting, and commenting single word phrases about the information that I thought was important in a piece of writing. While I still use these techniques here and there in my annotations, I now engage the text in a much deeper way by asking the hard questions that force me to think outside of what the text is directly saying. Being able to effectively assess and interrogate a text takes practice and required an understanding of the importance of actively reading. Without annotating and engaging in the text I would not have been able to understand or take away enough information to successfully complete the assigned essays or assignments in this course.