Reading effectively

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Jerry Myers_12_26This article will deal with the importance of being able to read effectively; In short this means comprehension of subject matter.  This might sound like an English lesson, however I would rather say that it is just good advice.

To fully appreciate a story that one reads, one must understand the words that tell the story.  Some readers might feel that they are in some sort of competition with the writer, in that the words that the writer might chose to use to tell the story seem complicated or, over their heads.  It is true that some writers feel that they have to use overly descriptive wording to get to a point or convey a thought or emotion.

When I was learning to read, my best friend was Webster’s Pocket Dictionary.  With Webster in my back pocket I soon found that you could also define a word’s meaning by the paragraph or sentence that the word was used in.  I found that reading faster was easier, and having vocabulary skills was necessary to glean the full meaning of what any particular writer might want to convey to the reader.

Taxonomy or style of story, and syntax, or wording style, the writer’s way of constructing a sentence, or writing styles may or may not appeal to all readers.  The baseline for understanding the words that the writer uses to tell a story is knowledge of vocabulary.

You can look at any written work from text books to fantasy fiction as a coded message.  This is noticeably apparent when the reader has a somewhat spotty vocabulary.  The lack of a fully developed vocabulary really boils down to the reader.  Setting aside such conditions as dyslexia and other conditions that hinder understanding of printed works, we are left with the distracted student.

The distracted students as I shall call them are not injudicious to instruction.  What I have observed with my own children is that fitting in is more important than paying attention to what they perceive as a not so entertaining class, and the main reason for going to school is finding out who is doing what and who is “Hooked-up” with whom.  I found out more than I needed to know about pubescent gossip, when I asked “What did you do in school today?” rather than what they had learned or more importantly what they needed help understanding.

In any subject, Math, Science, and English, or a novel you can more fully appreciate it when you realize that text books and books and novels in general are nothing more than a collection of words, terminology, and the vocabulary explaining a particular subject or story.  Knowing vocabulary is reading and reading effectively is the golden key to knowledge.

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