In addition to being writing-intensive, this course is also reading-intensive. Realize that for each hour of class, you are expected to spend at least two to three hours outside of class reading and thinking about what you’ve read for every class meeting, more if you are doing library research, writing and revising essays. Please budget your time wisely and, by all means, don’t wait until the night before to do your work! While some readers are faster than others, you should aim to keep up with the assigned readings.

But more important than simply “finishing” the pages assigned, is to read closely and carefully, to study the text you are reading and interact with it. I have designed study groups as a required part of this course. to help you do these very things through a variety of exercises. Each exercise is designed to develop your critical reading skills in a variety on ways:

  1. Informational reading – simple comprehension of narrative & factual sources
  2. Investigative reading – locating information outside the text, understanding the production of the source and its audience, putting the text in context
  3. Analytical reading – reading closely and deeply for meaning, to question and challenge the assumptions of a text, to make comparisons and find patterns