Leadership and Formation #27: Reading What Is Important

Leadership and Formation #27: Reading What Is Important

stick_figure_books_ladder_400_clr_9130.pngThus far we have covered four approaches for Reading on the Run, Continuum Reading Concepts:  scan reading, ransack reading, browse reading, and Pre-reading.  See the last two posts for details on these methods.

The last and more detailed reading methods include In-depth Reading and Studying a Book.

In-Depth Reading

According to J. Robert Clintion (and in his own words) you do an in-depth reading of a book when you have determined from scanning, ransacking, and browsing that it is worth pre-reading and actually reading in-depth.  An in-depth reading of a book is a detailed approach to the evaluation of a book which involves pre-reading followed by detailed reading of all parts of the text in order to affirm, deny or modify the pre-reading analysis and to produce six evaluation statements.

Reading a book is a serious detailed approach to the understanding of what the author is saying.  It is an approach which says the book deserves to be read in a detailed enough way so you are able to give evaluation statements about the book as a whole.  When you have read a book you have an overall grasp of the book and can discuss it motivationally with a potential reader.  You will be able to discuss six kinds of evaluation statements which are described below.  You will have, if appropriate…

  1. Shown where the author is uninformed in his/her writing, (i.e., examples from the book where the author draws conclusions without considering all the facts).
  2. Shown where the author is misinformed in his/her writing, (i.e., instances/examples from the book in which the author draws conclusions based on false information).
  3. Shown where the author is illogical in his/her writing (i.e., examples from the book in which the author uses faulty reasoning in arriving at conclusions).
  4. Shown where the author’s analysis or account is incomplete in terms of his/her statement of purpose in writing the book (i.e., an evaluation of the author’s accomplishment of purpose in writing he book.)
  5. Shown the author’s strengths in his/her writing, (i.e., reference to useful quotations, point out any strong arguments or explanations, and point out concepts which can be transferred to your own experience).
  6. Shown the relevance of the book to today’s needs, (i.e., application to various life-situations to which the book can be applied.  You can point out the kind of reader who will profit the most by the book).

Studying a Book

Studying a book requires the most detailed kind of reading.  Studying a book is a special in-depth approach to the reading of a book which involves pre-reading, reading, and background research on materials and ideas used in the book.  It involves the ability to do comparative evaluation and original research on materials and ideas used in the book.

Six Results

When you have studied a book you will…

  1. Have done the four pre-reading statements.
  2. Have arrived at appropriate evaluation statements from the six evaluation statements normally considered in detailed reading.
  3. Be able to discuss the book analytically with another reader.
  4. Be able to evaluate the other reader’s analysis for clarification, modification, etc.
  5. Have researched original materials quoted in the book for evaluating accuracy.
  6. Be able to compare the book with other books dealing with the same major subject so as to show similarities, differences, unique contributions, etc.

I hope the information on continuum reading concepts will inform your reading practices going forward.  I strongly recommend you acquire this handy guide by purchasing Reading on the Run: Continuum Reading Concepts by J. Robert Clinton, 1999, Barnabas Publishers.  There is much more detail including examples of each reading method as well as feedback on each method.  There is also information in this valuable resource for writing a book review using reading continuum concepts.


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