Reading Tips

Find and identify main arguments and terms:

(These are not universally foolproof tips, but they will help you with many chapter/article readings of non-fiction at the post-secondary level.)

What is a term?

Here, I am using term to refer to a word or a phrase for a new / unfamiliar / specialized concept, object, or practice. Significant terms may be defined, described, and discussed in a reading, but terms that are familiar to scholars may be referred to and not defined.
      If a reading defines and describes a term you think is significant, you should take note of the term and its meaning, particularly if the reading spends more than a little time discussing the term. If a reading uses terms you don't know and doesn't define them, you should note the terms, and briefly look them up, and ask for clarification during tutorial if needed.

What is an argument?

Arguments are assertions which one could potentially disagree with. When you are writing an analytical or persuasive essay, your argument is your thesis.
Arguments need to be supported by evidence. Evidence usually consists of specific examples, facts, relevant quotations, context/backstory, etc.

First places to look for arguments and major terms?

To help you narrow down which parts of the reading make the main arguments ("is this paragraph a main argument or is it another type of material?"), ask yourself:

About terms, ask yourself:

General Tips: