Active Reading

Successful active reading is being able to analyze the book and hone in on not only the broad components of the story, but to pull out all of the little details that can be stretched into something huge. One has to think about every angle that the words come from and understand from what point of view they represent and why. Sometimes it can even be a single word that is pulled in so many different directions that it becomes something bigger than the book itself! Each and every word has a great deal of meaning and should be analyzed in order to dig deeper into the story. Active reading is the act of marking the pages with notes and ways to reflect upon the text, but coming from the reader’s noggin. The marks in the book should be circles, underlines or highlights, but only key words or phrases. If too much text is underlined, then it is hard to look back on important, key information. One of my annotations in Lord of the Flies is in scene where Simon speaks with the Lord of the Flies. I chose this scene because it seemed one of the most significant parts of the story. When the sow tells Simon that they are going to have fun, I found it to show how the Lord of the Flies is a symbol for the brutality and mayhem that happens on the island. So, I wrote a small note saying that the Lord of the Flies is a (with an arrow pointing to) symbol of brutality and mayhem. Because I did this, if I ever have to, I can look back on that page (p.144) and easily see how the Lord of the Flies is a symbol for brutality and mayhem. I think I actively read Lord of the Flies well because I was able to pick out details and stretch them in a way that is easy to look back upon, whether it is in the book, or in a separate note. Either way, active reading should be an easy way for someone to understand what they are reading and also to have their thoughts available to look back upon in a quick, easy way. I marked a variety of places in the book from the significance of setting to why a character feels a certain way in a situation. I could have used more diagrams (arrows that relate one thing to another) in my annotations, because I find them to be a fast, uncomplicated way to express thoughts and facts from the story. In the future, I think it would be helpful to have a separate notebook/journal when I read so that I can draw diagrams and write analyses. At the same time I will also use the book to jot down some small, yet significant facts and analyses. To summarize, active reading is a way for the reader to uncover more about the book, by thinking while writing and literally putting your thoughts (sweet and simply) on paper.

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