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Thank goodness for Mortimer Adler's (1940) suggestion that the more
difficult
one finds a selection, the faster one should read it, at least the first
time
through. (Note: Adler was a philosopher and wrote a book called    "The
Art of Reading" to help people read the Great Books series- not the
world's easiest reading!) 

It worked for me in a graduate course in psychology when I couldn't
decode the first paragraph in a chapter on neurology that was assigned.
Science writers present their main concepts and overview at the end of
the chapter.  Well, I was also teaching SQ3R to very, very underprepared
students in those days and we taught them to survey a chapter first
before reading it.  

My book called Improving Skimming and Scanning (McGraw-Hill, 1969)
contained chapters from freshmen and sophomore courses in chemistry,
social science, biology, etc. and selections from the "Bulletin of the
Atomic Scientist"  and "Scientific American."  It seemed to help students
realize that they didn't have to read every word to determine where the
important parts of a chapter or article were. I believe that skimming and
scanning involve critical reading and critical thinking and are essential
for students in the liberal arts or in academe or in the business world
today who must
separate the treasures from the trash and trivia in the diarrhea of the
press and on the Internet. 

Isn't being a bit patronizing to say that developmental students can't be
taught these skills? 

How can you sleep at night if you haven't explained to your students that
there are many purposes for reading and different genres that require
different strategies and that you don't have to read everything fast or
slow? 

Martha Maxwell