READINGS are intended to complement or supplement lectures, presentations, or on-line notes.  They may also provide a “butterfly of the mind.”  Butterflies are connected to the content on which they were resting, but in unexpected or surprising and hopefully provocative ways.

“The master was telling a parable and everyone had the sense that this was leading to a profound, possibly transformative insight.  He spoke with a musical tone of voice—sometimes solemn, sometimes playful—that drew listeners into the story.  Then, just as the denouement seemed imminent, he hesitated and pointed excitedly in the air:

Look, a butterfly!!

The spell of the story had ended, but everyone got the point.”

… excerpts from various writings, entire articles or chapters or websites are scattered throughout A&O pages.  Sometimes they are not obviously connected to the topic page they emerge from, but If you engage one but don’t know where to start  the “Three Close Reads” procedure: 

  • First Read — Preview and Skimming for Gist :  The first close read is really meant to be a skim of the article. It should be very quick and give you the gist (general idea) of what the article is about. You should be looking at the title, author, headings, pictures, and opening sentences of paragraphs for the gist.
  • Second Read — Key Ideas and Understanding Content:  The second read is probably closest to the kind of reading you usually do. Basically, you are trying to get a better understanding of the concepts and arguments that are presented in the article. Review the questions so you know what to think about when reading, in addition to making sure you understand the information from the article. Also, this is a great time to write down any vocab you see in the article that is unfamiliar to you. Keep a journal of all the words you are learning!
  • Third Read — Evaluating and Corroborating: Now it’s time for the third and final read. For this read, focus on why this article matters, how it connects to other content you’ve studied…