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Part 1: Effective Reading
Part 2: George Washington Carver: The Plant Doctor
Part 3: Emily Dickinson: An Inland Soul
Part 4: Henry Ford: Bringing the Automobile to the Common Man  
Part 5: The Wright Brothers: Putting America on Wings
Part 6: Ernest Hemingway: Tragic Genius
Part 7: Eleanor Roosevelt: “Her Glow Warmed the World”
Part 8: Frank Lloyd Wright: Architect Extraordinary
Part 9: Louis Armstrong: An American Original
Part 10: Walt Disney: Master Showman
Part 11: Margaret Bourke-White: The Great Achiever
Quizzes Answer Key

Part 1

Effective Reading

‘Why am I reading?’ is the first question an effective reader asks himself or herself, because how you read depends on your purpose. You may read to locate specific information, to understand reasons and facts and to learn, to enjoy words and descriptions, as in poetry and some prose, etc.

As soon as the effective reader defines the purpose of his/her reading, s/he asks another question 'How should I read?' In other words what reading technique or techniques should s/he choose? Effective and efficient readers learn to use many different styles of reading for different purposes. Skimming, scanning and critical reading are considered to be the most important ones. Among others are previewing and predicting, guessing word meaning, recognizing the main idea, making inferences, summarizingandannotating.




Skimming is used to quickly identify the main ideas of a text. When you read a newspaper, you’re probably not reading it word-by-word, instead you’re skimming the text. Skimming is done at a speed three to four times faster than normal reading. People often skim when they have lots of material to read in a limited amount of time.

There are many strategies that can be used when skimming. Some people read the first and last paragraphs using headings, summarizes and other organizers as they move down the page or screen. You might read the title, subtitles, subheading, and illustrations. This technique is useful when you're seeking information rather than reading for comprehension.




Scanning is a technique you often use when looking up a word in the telephone book or dictionary. You search for key words or ideas. In most cases, you know what you’re looking for, so you’re concentrating on finding a particular answer. Scanning involves moving your eyes down the page seeking specific words and phrases. Once you've scanned the document, you might go back and skim it.

When scanning, look for the author’s use of organizes such as numbers, letters, steps, or the words, first, second, or next. Look for words that are bold faced, italics, or in a different font size, style, or color.


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