Chapter 6

Chapter 6
Reading Rhetorically:
The Writer as Strong Reader
About Reading Rhetorically
What Makes College-Level
Reading Difficult
Unfamiliar Rhetorical Context
Unfamiliar Genre
Lack of Background Knowledge
Reading Processes Used by
Experienced Readers
 Varying Strategies to Match Reading Goals
 Vary Strategies to Match Genre
 Adopting a Multidraft Reading Process
Improving Your Reading Process
 Slow down or speed up, depending on your
 Reconstruct the rhetorical context.
 Join the text’s conversation by exploring
your views on the issues before reading.
 Lose your highlighter; find your pen.
 Get in the dictionary habit.
Improving Your Reading Process
 Recognize when lack of background
information is the source of your difficulty.
 Try “translating” difficult passages.
 Read both with and against the grain.
 Continue the conversation after you read.
Writing a Summary
 On the first read, look for general meaning.
 On the second read, write “gist statements”
in the margins, summarizing each
paragraph’s main point.
Writing a Strong Response
 Write out questions triggered by the text.
 Identify hot spots in the text.
 Articulate how you differ from the intended
 Articulate your own purpose for reading.
 Ask generic strategic questions.
 Consider the purpose of your response.
Summarizing Open-Form Prose
 The summary is less likely to parallel the
organization of the original article.
 Open-form pieces require you to create the
meaning of what you read.
 Use your own interpretive powers to create
the unstated main points.

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