A Community of Readers - A Thematic Approach To Reading by
Roberta Alexander and Jan Jarrell is an excellent book which
covers the dynamics of critical reading for college. The authors
describe reading as a process which consists of reflection, the
need to know or discriminate, the use of a dictionary, main ideas,
evidence, inferences and plenty of exercises demonstrating critical
The authors provide a very extensive tool kit which includes visual
aids, how to take class notes, test taking, writing tips, navigating
websites, reading circles of students and sample book projects.
This section is extremely valuable because it deals with facilitating
learning transfer for college students. This version does not have an
answer key although there is an instructor's manual available from
the publisher as there is with most texts.
The authors present a very extensive section on how to use a
dictionary. In addition, the text points out the necessity of
utilizing the glossary for texts frequently. There is an area
which is not emphasized by the authors. That is, English literature
often contains advanced vocabulary not listed in the back of the
book. In those instances, students must refer back and forth to a
The easy way around this is to peruse the book, extract the advanced
vocabulary and research meanings in the dictionary prior to actually
reading the book. These steps will assist in enhancing your vocabulary.
Too often, students just gloss over unknown words and lose the meaning
intended by the author. In addition, students should research all unfamiliar
vocabulary as preparation for exams like the SAT, GRE and entrance exams
in professions like law or medicine.
The authors provide at least six pages of suggested readings, as well
as illustrative websites . The suggested readings are aimed at developing
skills for potential student projects and other advanced work in college.
In addition, the authors provide a considerable section on applying what
you read in small group discussions and forums.
A Community of Readers - A Thematic Approach To Reading by Roberta
Alexander and Jan Jarrell is an important work for developing reading
skills with a view toward college applications in a variety of
important settings.This work can be helpful because department
chairpeople are getting away from course grades based solely on
examinations. Currently, there is a move toward having students develop
work products which reflect critical analysis, class participation,
field work, small group participation and extensive data analysis
for subjects like econometrics.
Generally, publishers do not sell instructor manuals to students. An
instructor's manual has the words "Instructor's Manual" in bold print
on the face. If a book does not have this insignia on the face, it's
intended for students. In addition, teachers provide the ISBN number
which is the governing disclosure on the book they intend to use.
Lastly, the publisher has just come out with the 6th Edition. Very
often, publishers do make minor changes to books even within the same
addition to take into consideration comments by buyers.
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