Learning Outcome 3

Active reading is when making small comments in the margin of the essay to help you summarize the author’s ideas. Critical reading is when you dive a litter deeper by taking time analyzing why the author made each claim, interpreting why they are trying to make that point,  ask questions and help develop a stance on the argument. These are two skills that I have come to master this semester in English 110. For our third writing prompt this semester we read two articles on Life’s Narratives. The first article I read both actively and critically was by Julie Beck called “Life’s Stories.” The way I have achieved these skills while annotating this article is by constantly stopping at words that I did not understand, you can see this on page 1 of my edits. I circled the word “realm” and asked myself “why does this mean?” I later went and researched the word to find out it’s the true meaning of a field of domain or kingdom. Susan Gilory is a fan of this style, Gilroy is the author of “Interrogating Texts: 6 Reading Habits to Develop in Your First Year of Harvard.” Within this article, Gilroy states that an important skill to develop while critical and active reading is “getting into the habit of asking yourself a question” (Gilroy). I am constantly looking up words to make sure I understand them and that is a perfect example of critical reading. On page 2 of my annotations of Beck’s Essay, you will see in the left-hand margin that I am constantly marking up the margins with ideas and thoughts. I find that when I am annotating an article I tend to make a handful of personal connections, also known as “following the thread.” Susan Gilroy agrees that “marking up the margins of your text with words and phrases such as ideas that occur to you” is a great way to demonstrate critical thinking. On this page of my annotations, you can see that I highlighted a quote. The quote was “A listener may give your other things to think about, or may acknowledge that this thing you thought was really bad is actually not a big deal” (Beck). The note I made on the side of the quote was a potential idea for a claim I could end up making in my essay. My note reads “this could help people cope with stress by expressing how they feel through a story. The second article that I read for this prompt three was “I Am Not A Story” by Galen Strawson. This article took a stance that was the opposite of my personal outlook on narratives. Galen believed that narratives do not define who he is. Although, I believed that narratives help you look upon your past experiences to help you grow as an individual. As you can see in my third annotation image, I constantly made notes pulling out the parts where Strawson addresses how he personally sees narratives. I feel that my annotations show that I can understand and acknowledge each side of an argument, as well as not entirely shut down an idea that I don’t agree with. I feel like this skill that I showcased shows that I can keep an open mind while reading and as Gilroy says: being able to compare and contrast ideas present from my opinions and the text previous. Lastly, Gilroy addresses the skill of “interrogating texts.” I believe that I have demonstrated this skill with my classmates strongly over the course of the semester. During class, we would get together in groups and answer questions based off of the articles we previously read. I feel that coming together as a group and “interrogate” or better stated, questioning as well as sharing knowledge, to one another. This helped me better understand some claims that may have been made in the article that I could have potentially missed. The questions were sometimes opinion based. An example of this is the question “What does Strawson believe?” The opinion based questions are my favorite because it allows me to understand my peer’s opinions on the essay, as well as seeing which ideas they felt stuck with them the most. The picture of our group work is the fourth picture added to this document I feel that Susan Gilroy makes a lot of knowledgeable statements throughout her essay and if you follow her 6 reading habits as I did, then you will be off to a good start for successfully reasoning critically and actively.