Reading: Why and How
What are you reading now? Throughout each semester, you should always be reading something - a novel, a biography, a memoir, essays, rhetoric, short stories, poetry and more. As you read, you will be developing and strengthening your critical thinking skills which will help you better communicate your own original thinking across all subjects. Reading American literature will also offer you the opportunity to build an understanding of the many dimensions (e.g., philosophical, ethical, aesthetic) of the uniquely American experience we share as individuals, as a community and as a nation.
20 Minutes Every Day
Take time to read each day - free of distractions. With 20 minutes of dedicated focused reading each day, you'll improve your capacity for focus. You'll also improve your comprehension. Make it a habit and change your world!
What's the big deal?
Reading helps you become a better person. Really? Yes. Check it out with this great video from John Green and Crash Course.
Choose a Lens and Make Connections
Whether consciously or sub-consciously, all readers make connections to literary works as they read. "Text to World", "Text to Text", and "Text to Self" connections provide the reader with a variety of lenses - different ways to see a text.
When readers make the effort to acknowledge and explore these connections and their meaning, they have the opportunity to develop insights as well as recognize the limitations or bias of any one lens.
When literary critics explore a text, they often do so through a "critical lens" - a specific perspective/context through which they consider the literary work. Through our research, we will include some of these "critical lenses" in our exploration of texts.