CHAPTER 10 STUDYING COLLEGE TEXTBOOKS AND INTERPRETING VIAUAL AND GRAPHIC AIDS • IN THIS CHAPTER YOU WILL LEARN: • A three-step process for studying college textbooks • How to use textbook features • How to interpret visual aids • How to interpret graphic aids
What is the three-step process for studying college textbooks? Step 1: Prepare to Read Preview the Material Assess Your Prior Knowledge Plan Your Reading and Study Time Step 2: Ask and Answer Questions to Guide Your Reading Ask Questions as You Read Answer Questions as You Read Step 3: Review by Rehearsing Your Answers
Step 1: Prepare to Read • Preview the selection to see what it contains and how it is organized. • Read the title. • Read the introduction. • Read headings and subheadings in each section. • Read words in italics or bold print. • Look over illustrations, charts, and diagrams. • Read any questions that are included in the • chapter or a study guide. • Read the summary.
Step 1: Prepare to Read (con’t) Ask yourself: “What topics does the author seemto be emphasizing?” and “How are the topics organized?”
Step 1: Prepare to Read (con’t) Assess your prior knowledge. Ask yourself: “What do I already know about the topic?” and “How familiar am I with this topic?”
Step 1: Prepare to Read (con’t) Plan your reading and study time. Ask yourself: “How can I best allot my time for this assignment?” and “Do I need to divide the assignment into smaller units?”
Step 2: Ask and Answer Questions as You Read • Guide your reading by asking and answering questions: • Turn chapter headings into questions. • Create questions based on what the paragraphs or • sections appear to be about. • If the author has included questions, answer them. • Use questions in a study guide, it there is one. • Use questions given out by the instructor.
Step 2: Ask and Answer Questions as You Read • Read actively: • Look for answers to your questions. • Record the answers to your questions: • Write the answers on notebook paper or in the margins of the textbook. • Create notes for the material. • Emphasize the answers by highlighting or underlining them.
Step 3: Review by Rehearsing the Answers • to Your Questions • Review the material and transfer it into long-term memory by rehearsing: • Recite (say aloud) the answers to your questions. • Try to write the important points from memory.
How can you understand and use textbook features? A textbookfeature is any device an author uses to emphasize important material or to show how it is organized. It is one way authors try to help readers get the most out of a textbook. Another term for a textbook feature is learning aid. Different authors may call the same feature by different names. Be sure to take advantage of textbook features as you study: they are there to help you locate, select, and organize the material you must learn.
Some common and useful textbook features: • Chapter introduction: Textbook feature at the beginning • of a chapter that describes the overall purpose and major • topics. • Chapter objective: Textbook feature at the beginning of • a chapter telling you what you should know or be able to • do after studying the chapter. • Chapter outline: A list of chapter topics or headings in • their order of appearance in the chapter.
Some common and useful textbook features (con’t): • Vocabulary aids: Textbook devices that identify important terms and definitions. • Glossary: A list of important terms and definitions from the entire textbook that is located near the end of a textbook.
Some common and useful textbook features (con’t): • Box: Supplementary material that is separated from the • regular text. A box is also known as a sidebar. • Chapter summary: A textbook feature in which the • author consolidates most of the main ideas. • Study questions and activities: Exercises, drills, and • practice sections that direct your attention to or review • information you will be expected to know. • Preface: Introductory section in which authors tell • readers about the book.
Some common and useful textbook features (con’t): • Index: Alphabetical listing of topics and names in a • textbook, with page numbers, usually appearing at the • end of the book. • Appendix: Section at the end of a book that includes • supplemental material or specialized information. • Bibliography: List of sources from which the author of • the text has drawn information.
You will benefit from examining the features in all of your textbooks at the beginning of the semester.
How can you interpret visual aids? Visual aids: photographs, diagrams, maps, and cartoons that supplement or illustrate narrative information
Four common types of visual aids: 1. Photographs: images recorded by a camera. They help bring information to life, make it concrete, and help you visualize it. 2. Diagrams: sketches, drawings, or plans that show or explain how something works or shows the relationship between parts of a whole.
Four common types of visual aids (con’t): 3. Maps: representations of regions or other information presented on a flat surface 4. Cartoons: humorous drawings that may or may not include a caption. They can be used to present a point of view (such as an editorial cartoon) or illustrate a point in a memorable way.
How can you interpret graphic aids? Graphic aids: tables, diagrams, graphs, and charts that present narrative information in an alternative format. Authors include graphics because they enable students to grasp and recall information in a more visual and meaningful way.
Steps to interpreting graphic aids: • First, read the title and any explanation that accompany • the graph. The title tells you what aspect of the author's • topic is being clarified or illustrated by the graph or table. • Next, check the source of the information presented in • the graphic aid to see if it seems current and reliable. • Third, read all the headings and labels to determine what • is being presented or measured. These headings and • labels may appear at the top, bottom, and side of a table or • graph.
Steps to interpreting graphic aids (con’t): • Then, examine the units of measurement in a graph (for • example, decades, percents, thousands of dollars, per hour, • kilograms, per capita, milliseconds). • Finally, use the information provided collectively by the • title and explanation, the source, the headings and labels, • and the units of measurement to help you determine the • important points or conclusions that the writer is • conveying. Try to understand how the information in the • graph clarifies or exemplifies the written explanation. See if • there are patterns or trends in the data that allow you to • draw a general conclusion.
Five commonly used graphic aids: 1. Line graph: A diagram in which points are connected to show a relationship between two or more variables. 2. Pie chart: A circle graph in which the size of the “slices” represent proportional parts of the whole. Pie charts are a convenient way to show the relationships among component parts as well as the relationship of each part to the whole.
Five commonly used graphic aids (con’t): 3. Bar graph: A chart in which the length of parallel rectangular bars is used to indicate relative amounts of the items being compared. The bars in a bar graph may be vertical or horizontal. 4. Flow chart: A chart that shows steps in procedures or processes by using boxes, circles, and other shapes that are connected with lines or arrows. 5. Table: A systematic listing of data in rows and columns.
AFTER READING THIS CHAPTER, YOU SHOULD KNOW: • A three-step process for studying college textbooks • How to use textbook features • How to interpret visual aids • How to interpret graphic aids