CSS 106: College Reading Strategies

Class Program
Credits 2 3 Lecture Hours 22 33
College Reading Strategies emphasizes the development of the critical reading and thinking skills (analysis, synthesis, and evaluation) needed for courses in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences. Presents active reading strategies, study reading techniques, and vocabulary building skills.
Course Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course, students should be able to demonstrate the following knowledge or skills:

  1. Students will utilize a range of reading and vocabulary strategies to engage and comprehend a text.
  2. Students will apply various rhetorical and writing styles of texts in various content areas as well as the effects of different writing styles.
  3. Students will locate, evaluate, and synthesize material from diverse sources and points of view.
  4. Students will discuss in an academic and social setting both the content and merits of a text.
Institutional Outcomes
PO5: Students will be able to solve problems by gathering, interpreting, combining and/or applying information from multiple sources.
Course Content Outline
  1. Active reading and thinking strategies
    • Activating schema
    • Pre-, during, and post reading
    • Writing to strengthen reading and recall
  2. Vocabulary building
    • Context clues
    • Prefixes, roots, suffixes
    • Professional and technical terminology, jargon, idioms
  3. Thesis, main ideas, supporting details, transitions
    • Identifying theses
    • Identifying implicit and explicit main ideas
    • Recognizing supporting details
    • Recognizing and understanding transitions
  4. Organizational patterns
    • Identifying and understanding the purpose of standard organizational patterns
    • Specific textbook learning strategies
    • SQ3R
    • Learning and recall
    • Highlighting
    • Annotating
    • Paraphrasing
    • Outlining
    • Mapping
    • Summarizing
  5. Critical reading skills
    • Fact vs opinion
    • Author’s purpose, tone, bias
    • Observation/inference
    • Evaluating data and evidence
    • Connotative language
    • Figurative language
  6. Evaluating print and electronic source material
    • Reading and thinking visually
    • Reading and analyzing photographs
    • Reading graphs, tables, charts, diagrams, maps, and timelines
    • Reading infographics
Department Guidelines

Students apply various reading and vocabulary strategies to their current course text or to instructor-generated materials.

Students complete a portfolio of their preferred reading and vocabulary strategies that includes an explanation of the strategy’s purpose, an artifact demonstrating how the strategy was applied, and a personal reflection of the effectiveness/usefulness of the strategy.