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 Post subject: How do you read a book for school?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2008 2:35 pm 
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I'm not asking left to right, up and down, back and front, one word at a time, but I was wondering how you folks read and keep track of threads in the book such as motifs, themes, and character development. Do you write in the book, do you keep notes, or what?

I personally don't like writing directly in the book because it is sort of nauseating if I ever read it again.


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 Post subject: Re: How do you read a book for school?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2008 3:16 pm 
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Considering most of the books I read in school are property of the school (and old, decrepit versions with vastly different formats than newer editions), I never get to write in any of them.

My English teacher last year made us do journal-style notes for some books. We would have to make one per chapter and include new characters, basic plot, themes, and important quotes. If you feel like keeping a journal, this might be a good way to keep track of things. I'm sure you could add your own stuff too: maybe take note of things that look like they might be important later? Anyway, if you take good notes and review them frequently, you should be able to make better sense of the book.


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 Post subject: Re: How do you read a book for school?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2008 5:57 pm 
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I never took notes on them or anything unless we were assigned to. And the school gave us copied of the books we had to return so we couldn't annotate them. Although even if it was my copy I'd feel bad for writing in it anyways. I basically sat down and read the book and got immersed in it and kept my eyes peeled for certain things. If asked about anything (like themes etc.) I can usually remember enough of the book to provide a decent example although not really that in-depth.


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 Post subject: Re: How do you read a book for school?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2008 6:23 pm 
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We also have books that are property of the school. I usually just read the book and keep an eye out for whatever the teacher mentions...i dont remember having to take notes on it anyway.


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 Post subject: Re: How do you read a book for school?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2008 6:55 pm 
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Well mind you this is my summer reading so I'm thinking I will read each book twice (neither are that lengthy). The first time I read them, I will read them like any book I would read for pleasure, and on the second read I think I might keep a journal-esque log of plot and literary devices as necessary. We have to write an essay once we're back and I think this might help.


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 Post subject: Re: How do you read a book for school?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 2:49 am 
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Penguin wrote:
Well mind you this is my summer reading so I'm thinking I will read each book twice (neither are that lengthy). The first time I read them, I will read them like any book I would read for pleasure, and on the second read I think I might keep a journal-esque log of plot and literary devices as necessary. We have to write an essay once we're back and I think this might help.


I went through AP English last year and that is more work than I have seen any of the kids in my class do lol.


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 Post subject: Re: How do you read a book for school?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 3:54 am 
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fzun wrote:
Penguin wrote:
Well mind you this is my summer reading so I'm thinking I will read each book twice (neither are that lengthy). The first time I read them, I will read them like any book I would read for pleasure, and on the second read I think I might keep a journal-esque log of plot and literary devices as necessary. We have to write an essay once we're back and I think this might help.


I went through AP English last year and that is more work than I have seen any of the kids in my class do lol.


:D Yeah that is exactly what it is. AP English. The thing is I like school and I enjoy nearly every subject because there is usually a definitive answer or a way of coming to one. English is very subjective (analysis anyways). It has always been my poorest subject (not bad but I need to work at it to do well, then again I could have gotten better at this point and I am merely psyching myself out) Regardless I try to know the reading well so that I can have a leg up in a way. I know that my sound psychotic but I think it might be worth a shot. Are there any other alternatives that you guys might suggest?


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 Post subject: Re: How do you read a book for school?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 11:05 am 
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If they were really popular books (Romeo and Juliet for example) I'd do a quick Google search, read some of the analysis and get an idea for what I was looking for and then I'd take notes of that and anything else that stood out. (Dn NOT, do NOT just copy something from the Internet, its totally obvious to EVERYONE!) If no Googling was available (because the book was unknown) I'd take notes on anything really striking and take my time to read each chapter and then leave some time between so I'd have some time to process the information and remember it.

In my final years of high school when I was seeking to take the University entrance exams I was reading books three to four times each to ensure I didn't miss anything and to ensure that if it was one of those "the second time I watch/read it I notice stuff I didn't before" I would pick the new information up and also so I could pretty much memorise significant lines and storylines so I could regurgitate them in an exam.

I always made notes on any swearing, contenscious issues or anything that just made me go "wow" because if I were to be suprised by something I figured that others might be and that might have been the authors intent.

I also found it was useful to keep in mind how you were feeling reading a book, I remember reading a book about a girl orphaned and sent to live in a place where she didn't feel she belonged, she found this dog that she shared all her problems with and then the dog died and I remember crying and I just think that the authors intent was to really develop the relationship between the two characters, this idea of a lost soul being helped by another and then having to battle on without the support and just really trying to make a gut wrenching impact. I also find that if books are, for example, disturbing you usually find there's a lot of dark symolism and you just have to flick through and find it when you're writing any essays.

I think I may have begun rambling.


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 Post subject: Re: How do you read a book for school?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 1:49 pm 
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No Medusa you weren't rambling, I appreciate your input. It sounds like Im in the same boat you were a few years ago. My only issue is that I don't like flicking through when Im writing an english essay because they stress me out enough and not knowing where the information I need is makes it even worse.


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 Post subject: Re: How do you read a book for school?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2008 2:17 am 
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In that case, i'd say just write down what really sticks out and watch for reoccuring themes/foreshadowing


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 Post subject: Re: How do you read a book for school?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 3:01 am 
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Thanks for all your help guys, keep your strategy's coming. I need to finish my books by the beginning of September 1st.


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 Post subject: Re: How do you read a book for school?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 7:10 pm 
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If it is a book I know I have to read, like anything for QM or E&M or Special Rel, I put it in the bathroom, and it gets done at a fairly good pace. I've been doing that since my chem class, and it has kept me ahead of the curve.

Other books I would just keep around or if they are small, I carry them with me and read when I can or get the chance or have to.


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 Post subject: Re: How do you read a book for school?
PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2008 9:31 pm 
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After each chapter, open a Word document and type a little summary, a reaction to the chapter, and try to pick out any symbols/themes you spotted. This way when you have to write the essay you can search the document for key words and such.


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 Post subject: Re: How do you read a book for school?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2008 5:39 pm 
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I used to just read the book and then write whatever essay came up.

To be fair, though...I only ever wrote the essays that came up in the exams, I didn't do the homework. For my coursework essays I had a little bit of notation from when we did a read-through in class, and then notes from class discussion, and then threw something together.

You guys are way more methodical.


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 Post subject: Re: How do you read a book for school?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 9:36 pm 
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Igg, I was just giving advice. Not advice that I follow. :lol: I just read it and remember it. I just remember stuff, I guess.


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