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Developing Critical Reading Skills


Developing Critical Reading Skills Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Although the world has changed a lot since the first edition, the underlying premise of Developing Critical Reading Skills has not. The premise of the text is that good reading and clear thinking go hand in hand. For this reason, it emphasizes practice in sustained, analytical reading. Students first work with high-quality short passages before moving on to more substantive pieces of greater complexity. The readings explore diverse subjects: anthropology, sports, human behavior, politics, social policy, education, ethics, autobiography, personal reminiscence, the minority and immigrant experience, humor, satire, and so forth. The passages also reflect diverse writing styles, thereby giving students the experience of reading high-level prose by its best practitioners.

This book succeeds when students become more self-assured about their reading and when they recognize that reading wellwith confidence, fluency, and enjoymentis a significant part of their emotional and academic lives. As the books epigram by Tobias Wolff says: “A true piece of writing is a dangerous thing. It can change your life.” Students will feel genuine excitement when they encounter a writer who shows them a new way of looking at their lives and at the world. It is this feelingthis inspirationthat Deanne Spears imparts.

About the Author

McGraw-Hill authors represent the leading experts in their fields and are dedicated to improving the lives, careers, and interests of readers worldwide

Table of Contents


Preface to the Student

An Overview of the Text

The Characteristics of Good Readers

Online Learning Centers

Becoming a First-Rate Reader

College Reading Assignments

How to Read This Textbook (and other Textbooks)

Getting the Most out of This Text

Part I reading for Understanding: Practice in Basic Comprehension Skills

Chapter 1 Building a Foundation: Vocabulary, Annotating, Paraphrasing, and


Improving Your Vocabulary

Vocabulary in Perspective

Daily Reading and Vocabulary Improvement- A Personal Sidenote

Further Suggestions for Vocabulary Improvement

Using the Dictionary

Using Context Clues

Annotating- Reading with a Pencil in Your Hand

Writing Paraphrases

Chapter Exercises

Selection 1: Mark Stevens, “Chief Josephs Revenge”

Selection 2: Michele Simon, from Appetite for Profit

Selection 3: Sandra Mackey, from The Saudis: Inside the Desert Kingdom

Practice Essay: Laura Hillendbrand, from Seabiscuit: An American Legend

Writing Summaries

How to Write a Summary

Chapter 2 Reading for the Main Idea and Authors Purpose

Main Idea in Paragraphs

Main Idea and Controlling Idea

Placement of the Main Idea

Implied Main Ideas

Levels of SupportMajor and Minor Supporting Details

The Authors Purpose and Modes of Discourse





Mixed Modes of Discourse

Chapter Exercises

Selection 1: Eric Schlosser, Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American


Selection 2: David Orr, “Verbicide”

Selection 3: Jonathon Franzen, “Sifting the Ashes”

Practice Essay: Bill Buford “Among the Thugs”

On the Web

In the Video Store

Chapter 3 Reading Between the Lines: Making Accurate Inferences

Facts and Inferences

Definition of Inferences

Problems with Inferences

Using Evidence to Make Inferences

Making Open-Ended Inferences

Making Inferences in Textbook Material

Making Inferences in Literature

Making Inference with Visual Material


Graphs and Charts

Chapter Exercises

Selection 1: “Good Idea” Utne

Selection 2: Jan Yoors, The Gypsies

Selection 3: Diane Ackerman, The Natural History of the Senses

Practice Essay: Henry Petroski, “Design Rising”

Practice Short Story: Edward P. Jones, “The First Day”

Part 2 Discovering Meaning: The Importance of Form

Chapter 4 Methods of Paragraph Development

Modes of Discourse and Methods of Development Compared

Methods of Paragraph DevelopmentThe First Group

Facts and Statistics

Examples and Illustration

Illustration in Textbooks


Comparison and Contrast

Contrast in Textbooks

Methods of Paragraph DevelopmentThe Second Group

Cause and Effect

Cause and Effect Relationships in Visual Material

Analysis and Classification

Analysis in Textbooks


Definition in Textbooks


Combination of Methods

Chapter Exercises

Selection 1: Sam Harris, The End of Faith

Selection 2: Daniel Duane, Caught Inside: A Surfers year on the California Coast

Selection 3: James E. Rosenbaum, “Its Time to Tell the Kids: If Youd Dont Do

Well in High School, You Wont Do Well in College (or on the Job)”

Practice Essay: Richard Selzer, “The Pen and the Scalpel”

In the Library

Chapter 5 Patterns of Paragraph Organization

Patterns of Organization Defined

Chronological Order

Spatial Order

Deductive Order

Inductive Order

Coherence in Paragraphs

Achieving Coherence: Transitions

Achieving Coherence: repetition of Key Words and Phrases

Achieving Coherence: Pronouns

Chapter Exercises

Selection 1: Greg Critser, Fat Land: How Americans Became the Fattest People in

the World

Selection 2: Sandra Mackey, The Saudis: Inside the Desert Kingdom

Selection 3: Edward O. Wilson, “The Power of Story”

Practice Essay: Conrad Phillip Kottak, “Potlatching”

On the Web

Part 3 Discovering Meaning: The Importance of Language

Chapter 6 Language and Its Effects on the Reader

Denotation and Connotation

Connotation and Synonyms

Connotative Restrictions and the Importance of Context

Connotation and Levels of Language

Connotation in Reading

How Denotation and Connotation Work Together

Connotation in Fiction

Figurative Language

Metaphors and Similes

Figurative Language and the Imagination

Figurative Language and Inferences

Uses of Metaphors and Similes


Connotation and Our Perception of the Issues

How Word Choice Influences Our PerceptionsThe Media

Language Misused and Abused


Code Words



Politically-Correct Language

Sneer Words


Obfuscating Language

Chapter Exercises

Selection 1: Nick Paumgarten, “Dangerous Game”

Selection 2: H.G. Bissinger, “Sisters” Friday Night Lights

Selection 3: Margaret Atwood, “The View from the Backyard”

Practice Essay: Brian Doyle, “Joyas Voladoras”

On the Web

Practice Short Story: Kate Chopin, “The Story of an Hour”

Chapter 7 Tone, Point of View, and Allusions

Point of View

An Overview of Tone

Common Varieties of Tone

Tone in Textbooks

Tone in Nonfiction Prose

A Special Case: Sentimentality

Tone and Mood in Fiction

Tone Continue: More Difficult Varieties







Special Stylistic Effects




Repetition for Effect

Chapter Exercises

Selection 1: Sissela Bok, Secrets: On the Ethics of Concealment and Revelation

Selection 2: Gerald Durrell, “The Life and Death of Cholmondeley”

Selection 3: Peter Coyote, “Celebrity Nation”

Practice Essay: Kurt Wiesenfeld, “Making the Grade”

Part 4 Reading Critically

Chapter 8 Elements of Critical Reading- Analyzing Arguments

A Definition of Critical Reading

The Readers Responsibilities

Developing a Worldview

Two World MapsTwo Worldviews

Analyzing the Structure of Arguments

The test of a Good Argument

Taking Arguments Apart

The Question of Authority

Identifying Claims

Identifying Claims in Editorials

Unstated Assumptions

The Importance of Definition in Arguments

Evaluating Evidence

The Refutation

Analyzing Visual Images

Charts and Graphs


Chapter Exercises: Evaluating Editorials

Selection 1: Arthur Levine, “CollegeMore Than Serving Time”

Selection 2: Jeff Jacoby, “Fishing for Sport is Cruel, Inhumane”

Selection 3: Silvio Laccetti, “Colleges Cranking out Illiterate Masses”

Chapter 9 Problems in Critical ReadingEvaluating Arguments

Inductive and Deductive Reasoning

Inductive Reasoning

Deductive Reasoning

The Toulmin Method

Analyzing an Op-Ed Piece with the Toulmin Method

Problems with Arguments

Hasty or Unqualified Generalizations and Stereotyping

Incorrect Sampling

Appeals in Arguments

Emotional Appeals

Appeal to Authority

Appeal to Fear

Appeal to Patriotism

Appeal to Pity or Sympathy

Appeal to Prejudice

Appeal to Tradition

Other Manipulative Appeals

Bandwagon Appeal


Just Plain Folks

Name Calling




Legitimate Appeals in Arguments

Logical Fallacies: Part I

Ad Hominem Argument

Begging the Question

Cause-Effect Fallacies

Either Or Fallacy


Logical Fallacies: Part 2

False Analogy

Non Sequitur



Red Herring

Slippery Slope

Two Wrongs Make a Right

Summary of Emotional Appeals and Logical Fallacies

Detecting Bias

Acceptable vs. Unacceptable Bias

An Example of Liberal Bias

An Example of Conservative Bias

Political Blogs: A Special Case

Chapter ExercisesEvaluating Editorials

Selection 1: Peter R. Kann, “The Media is in Need of Some Mending”

The Failed War on Drugs: Two Perspectives

Selection 2: Norm Stamper, “Let Those Dopers Be”

Selection 3: Mary Anastasia OGrady, “Canadas Shooting Gallery”

Chapter 10 Practical Applications in Evaluating Arguments

Analyzing Advertisement and Public Service Announcements

Political Cartoons

Evaluating Political Speeches

George W. Bushs 2001 Stem Cell Speech

Richard Nixons “Checkers” Speech

Evaluating Websites

Reading Online Versus Reading Print

Chapter Exercises: Evaluating Editorials

The Immigration Debate

Selection 1: George F. Will, “A Vote for English”

Selection 2: Michelle Malkin “Sanctuary Nation or Sovereign Nation: Its Your


Selection 3: Anna Quindlen, “Newcomers by Numbers”

Selection 4: Bryan Welch, “Putting a Stop to Slave Labor: A Moral Solution to

Illegal Immigration”

Selection 5: Political cartoon by J. B. Handelsman, The New Yorker

Part 5 Reading Essays and Articles

Introduction to Reading Essays

Why Read Essays in the First Place

The Characteristics of an Essay

The Parts of an Essay

How to Read an Essay

Analyzing Essay: Questions to Ask

Thirteen Essays and Articles for Further Practice

Selection 1: Luis Alberto Urrea, “Uno: They,” from Borderland Blues: Six


Selection 2: Barack Obama, “Race” from The Audacity of Hope

Selection 3: Orhan Pamuk, “The View, and the Dog in the Road”

Selection 4: Isak Dinesen, “The Iguana”

Selection 5: Andrei Codrescu, “Faux Chicken and Phony Furniture: Notes of an Alien


Selection 6: Judith Ortiz Cofer, “Primary Lessons”

Selection 7: Marco Visscher, “Reading, Writing and Video Gaming”

Selection 8: Wendell Berry, “In Defense of Literacy”

Selection 9: Samuel H. Scudder, “In the Laboratory with Agassiz”

Selection 10: Joseph Epstein, “The Culture of Celebrity: Let us Now Praise Famous


Selection 11: Rebecca Mead, “One Perfect Day: The Selling of the American


Selection 12: John McPhee, “Los Angeles Against the Mountains”

Selection 13: An Interview with Alan Weisman, “An Earth without People”

Part 6 Reading and Studying Textbook Material

The Structure of Modern Textbooks

Making Efficient Use of Study Time

The SQ3R Study Method

Applying the SQ3R Method to a Textbook Selection

Sample Textbook Selection: Benjamin B. Lahey, “Memory,” Psychology: An


Part 7 Reading Short Stories

Questions about Plot

Questions about Character

Questions about Theme

Selection 1: Geoff Dyer, “White Sands”

Selection 2: Gail Godwin, “A Sorrowful Woman”

Selection 3: Saki (H.H. Munro), “The Open Window”

Selection 4: T.C. Boyle, “Chicxulub”

Permissions Acknowledgments


Product Details

Spears, Deanne
McGraw-Hill Humanities/Social Sciences/Langua
Milan Spears, Deanne
Reading Skills
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
College/higher education:
9.125 x 7.375 in

Related Subjects

Reference » General
Reference » Readers Reference
Reference » Reading
Textbooks » General

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