Improving Reading Skills / Edition 6
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Improving Reading Skills / Edition 6

by Deanne Spears
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0073407240

ISBN-13: 9780073407241

Pub. Date: 01/05/2009

Publisher: McGraw-Hill Companies,Inc.

Improving Reading Skills is designed as a core reader/worktext for introductory and intermediate level developmental reading courses. The selections are of varying lengths and levels of sophistication and represent the types of readings that students will encounter in college and their adult lives. Exercises include short answer as well as multiple choice

Overview

Improving Reading Skills is designed as a core reader/worktext for introductory and intermediate level developmental reading courses. The selections are of varying lengths and levels of sophistication and represent the types of readings that students will encounter in college and their adult lives. Exercises include short answer as well as multiple choice questions.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780073407241
Publisher:
McGraw-Hill Companies,Inc.
Publication date:
01/05/2009
Edition description:
Older Edition
Pages:
528
Product dimensions:
7.30(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

Contents
Improving Reading Skills: A Contemporary Reader 6/e

Preface

To the Student

Improving Your Vocabulary

Five Techniques for Acquiring Words

Using Context Clues

Using Print and Online Dictionaries

Practice Selection

Dave Barry

Tips for Women: How to Have a Relationship with a Guy
We’re not talking about different wavelengths here. We’re talking about different planets, in completely different solar systems. Elaine cannot communicate meaningfully with Roger about their relationship any more than she can meaningfully play chess with a duck. Because the sum total of Roger’s thinking on this particular topic is as follows: Huh?

Comprehension Worksheet
Part 1 Getting Started: Practicing the Basics
Identifying the Main Idea and Writer’s Purpose

The Difference Between Fiction and Nonfiction

The Difference Between an Article and an Essay

Identifying the Main Idea in Paragraphs

Implied Main Ideas

Thesis Statements in Articles and Essays

Identifying the Writer’s Purpose

Pamela Grim

Care in Midair
The helicopter took another shaking plunge. As I tried to hold on to the side of the cart, the laryngoscope tumbled out of my hand. I fell after it and caught it as I landed facedown on my seat. This man is going to die now, I thought; no one as sick as he is could survive this. But I would get him reintubated, no matter what.

Pete Jordan

Head Dishwasher?
‘I’m a dishwasher,” I told the guy, “who happens to write.” “Well, mister-dishwasher-not-a-writer,” he said, “where do you wash dishes?” “Nowhere right now,” I said. “This is a tough town for a dishman.” “That’s ‘cause you’re too white for the job,” he said.

Joe Abbott

To Kill a Hawk
It was the summer of 1971, and a dozen friends and I had driven down the breathtakingly steep and tortuous road into Shelter Cove in southern Humboldt County to camp on the black sand beaches. We were pretty young then, and ill-prepared, and we quickly gobbled down our meager food supplies. So I and a couple others went down into the cove to poach abalones among the rocks.

Rose Guilbault

School Days
“What is that?” Mona scrunched her nose at my doll. “Don’t you have a Barbie?” The other girls twittered. What was a Barbie? I wondered. And why was my doll looked down on? I felt embarrassed and quickly stuffed my unworthy toy back into the paper bag. I would not be invited to play with them again.

Cornelia Bailey

Still Gullah
At age 52 I am the last of a generation to be born, raised and schooled on Sapelo, a little Sea Island off the Georgia coast. I am one of only 74 people left on the island, all of us descendants of West Africans brought here to work the cotton, sugar, rice and tobacco plantations established in the 1800s.

Judith Lewis

Walk on the Wilshire Side
. . . a few miles west, where Wilshire intersects the fabled retail fantasyland of Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, the stares begin. It’s not often, in this deeply segregated city, that a small crowd of black and Latino teenagers traipses through these moneyed streets. Women with Botoxed foreheads and surgically stretched cheeks perch at sidewalk café tables, blinking bewilderedly like some odd species of bird.

Charles Finney

The Life and Death of a Western Gladiator
The direct rays of the sun could, in a short time, kill him. If the temperature dropped too low he would freeze. Without food he would starve. Without moisture he would die of dehydration. If a man or a horse stepped on him he would be crushed. If anything chased him he could run neither very far nor very fast. Thus it was at the hour of his birth. Thus it would be, with modifications, all his life.

Part 2 Refining the Basics
Annotating. Paraphrasing, and Summarizing

Annotating

Paraphrasing

Summarizing

Marc Ian Barasch

Why Do We Walk On By?
My panhandling skills are nil. Each rejection feels like a body blow. I can see the little comic-strip thought balloon spring from people’s brows—Get a job! I work!

Chris Rose

Hell and Back
For all of my adult life, I regarded depression and anxiety as pretty much a load of hooey. I never accorded any credibility to the idea that they are medical conditions. Nothing scientific about it. You get sick, get fired, fall in love, get laid, buy a new pair of shoes, join a gym, get religion, seasons change, whatever; you go with the flow, dust yourself off, get back in the game. I thought antidepressants were for desperate housewives and fragile poets.

Frances Moore Lappé and Jeffrey Perkins

The Two Sides of Fear
One spring day not long ago, the two of us hailed a cab in Boston. Noting the driver’s strong Russian accent, we asked, “So what do you think of America?” Hesitant at first, he finally blurted out, “You Americans are all afraid.” As we approached Harvard Square, two BMWs passed us. “Those people are the most afraid,” he said, gesturing at the cars. “They’re afraid they’ll lose it. In Russia, we feared the KGB. Here, you don’t trust anyone. You’re all afraid of each other.”

Geoffrey Cowley

The Language Explosion
The journey toward language starts not in the nursery but in the womb, where the fetus is continually bathed in the sounds of its mother’s voice. Babies just 4 days old can distinguish one language from another. French newborns suck more vigorously when they hear French spoken than when they hear Russian—and Russian babies show the opposite preference.

Virginia Morell

Minds of Their Own
For the next 20 minutes, Alex ran through his tests, distinguishing colors, shapes, sizes, and materials (wood versus wood versus metal). He did some simple arithmetic, such as counting the yellow toy blocks among a pile of mixed hues. And, then, as if to offer final proof of the mind inside his bird’s brain, Alex spoke up. “Talk clearly!” he commanded, when one of the younger birds Pepperberg was also teaching mispronounced the word green. “Talk clearly!”

Richard Wolkomir

Making Up for Lost Time: The Rewards of Reading at Last
But now we try something new, a real-world test: reading the supermarket advertising inserts from a local newspaper. Each insert is a hodgepodge of food pictures, product names and prices. point to a word and Ken ponders. “C” he says finally. “And it’s got those two e’s--so that would be ‘coffee’!” I point again. He gets “Pepsi.” Silently, he sounds out the letters on a can’s label. “So that’s ‘corn,’” he announces.

Part 3 Tackling More Challenging Prose

Making Inferences

Eric Schlosser

Fast Food Nation: Behind the Counter
At Burger King restaurants, frozen hamburger patties are placed on a conveyer belt and emerge from a broiler ninety seconds later fully cooked. The ovens at Pizza Hut and at Domino’s also use conveyer belts to ensure standardized cooking times. The ovens at McDonald’s look like commercial laundry presses, with big steel hoods that swing down and grill hamburgers on both sides at once. The burgers, chicken, french fries, and buns are all frozen when they arrive at a McDonald’s. The shakes and sodas begin as syrup.

Studs Terkel

Somebody Built the Pyramids
Mike Fitzgerald . . . is a laborer in a steel mill. “I feel like the guys who built the pyramids. Somebody built ‘em. Somebody built the Empire State Building, too. There’s hard work behind it. I would like to see a building, say The Empire State, with a foot-wide strip from top to bottom and the name of every bricklayer on it, the name of every electrician. So when a guy walked by, he could take his son and say, ‘See, that’s me over there on the 45th floor. I put that steel beam in.’

Val Plumwood

Being Prey: Surviving a Crocodile Attack
When the whirling terror stopped again I surfaced again, still in the crocodile’s grip next to a stout branch of a large sandpaper fig growing in the water. I grabbed the branch, vowing to let the crocodile tear me apart rather than throw me again into that spinning, suffocating hell. For the first time I realized that the crocodile was growling, as if angry.

Tim Guest

Linden Lab’s Second Life: Dreamers of the Dream
In Second Life, you can walk, or fly, but you can also buy vehicles to travel faster and in higher style. “So people start with a Ferrari, and then after that they think, “Well, where could I go from this? How about a floating car?” Only later do they realize they can grow wings.

Ian Frazier

Dearly Disconnected
There was always a touch of seediness and sadness to pay phones, and a sense of transience. Drug dealers made calls from them, and shady types who did not want their whereabouts known, and otherwise respectable people planning assignations, and people too poor to have a phone of their own. In the movies, any character who used a pay phone was either in trouble or contemplating a crime.

Lawrence Shames

The Hunger for More
Americans have always been optimists, and optimists have always liked to speculate. In Texas in the 1880s, the speculative instrument of choice was towns, and there is no tale more American than this. What people would do was buy up enormous tracts of parched and vacant land, lay out a Main Street, nail together some wooden sidewalks, and start slapping up buildings. . . . The developers would erect a flagpole and name a church, and once the workmen had packed up and moved on, the town would be as empty as the sky.

Bill Bryson

Lonely Planet
In the days of diving suits—the sort that were connected to the surface by long hoses—divers sometimes experienced a dreaded phenomenon known as “the squeeze.” This occurred when the surface pumps failed, leading to a catastrophic loss of pressure in the suit. The air would leave the suit with such violence that the hapless diver would be, all too literally, sucked up into the helmet and hosepipe. When hauled to the surface, “all that is left in the suit are his bones and some rags of flesh,” the biologist J.B.S. Haldane wrote in 1947, adding for the benefit of doubters. “This has happened.”

Part 4 Mastering Reading about Complex Ideas
Patterns of Development

Patterns of Development

Transitional Elements

Some Final Considerations

Debra Dickerson

Raising Cain
. . . I just mean to say that children primarily meant to me that I’d always be taking care of someone, a fate too many women accept as given. When you grow up a poor black girl in a huge family you spend your life caring for the whole world. Children, I knew, meant that I’d be a human mop and short-order cook forever.

Nelson Mandela

Long Walk to Freedom
When I was sixteen, the regent decided that it was time that I become a man. In Xhosa tradition, this is achieved through one means only: circumcision. In my tradition, an uncircumcised male cannot be heir to his father’s wealth, cannot marry or officiate in tribal rituals. An uncircumcised Xhosa man is a contradiction in terms, for he is not considered a man at all, but a boy.

Lynne Duke

The Picture of Conformity
“The next thing is they’ll just have cameras everywhere,” [Shoshana] Zuboff says. They’ll have software programmed with algorithms, and the algorithms will be able to detect these so-called anomalies. And so you may be distraught because you’re flying home to your grandmother’s funeral, but the algorithm has detected an anomalous behavior, and the next thing you’re being strip-searched by a couple of FBI agents.”

David Ferrell

Badwater: The Ultra Marathon
Every year, two or three dozen elite ultra-marathoners come to Badwater, and every year Badwater beats them down. About a third fail to finish; after 50 miles or 70 miles or 110 miles, the torture exceeds their desire to go on, and they end up rolling away in their cars and minivans, faces covered with wet towels, their bodies stretched out like corpses. For a thin slice of society—zealots who live to train, who measure themselves by their mental toughness—the ultra-marathon is the consummate test of human character.

Carlin Flora

Hello, My Name Is Unique
Increasingly, children are also named for prized possessions. In 2000, birth certificates revealed that there were 298 Armanis, 269 Chanels, 49 Canons, 6 Timberlands, 5 Jaguars and 353 girls named Lexus in the U.S.

Jared Diamond

Easter’s End
As we try to imagine the decline of Easter [Island’s] civilization, we ask ourselves, “Why didn’t they look around, realize what they were doing, and stop before it was too late? What were they thinking when they cut down the last palm tree?”

Part 5 Reading About Issues
Persuasive Writing and Opinion Pieces

The Principles of Persuasive Writing

The Aims of Persuasive Writing

How to Read Persuasive Writing

Types of Claims

Kinds of Evidence

The Refutation

The Structure of an Argument

Practice Editorial

Elizabeth Royte, “A Fountain on Every Corner,” The New York Times
An entire generation of Americans has grown up thinking public faucets equal filth, and the only water fit to drink comes in plastic, factory-sealed. It’s time to change that perception . . .
Bias

Charles M. Blow

Farewell, Fair Weather, The New York Times
Just this month, a swarm of tornadoes shredded the central states. California and Florida have been scorched by wildfires, and a crippling drought in the Southeast has forced Georgia to authorize plans for new reservoirs. Who do we have to thank for all this? Probably ourselves.

Bill McKibben

The Environmental Issue From Hell, In These Times
But what makes them [SUVs] such a perfect symbol is the brute fact that they are simply unnecessary. Go to the parking lot of the nearest suburban supermarket and look around: The only conclusion you can draw is that to reach the grocery, people must drive through three or four raging rivers and up the side of a canyon.

Courtney E. Martin

Is the American Dream an Illusion? www.AlterNet.org
You know the story: Once upon a time there was a hardworking, courageous young man, born in a poor family, who came to America, put in blood, sweat and tears, and eventually found riches and respect. But knowing the statistics on social mobility and the ever-widening gap between rich and poor, I just can’t stomach this “happily ever after” scenario. It is too clean. Real life is full of messy things like racism and the wage gap and child care and nepotism.

Ruben Navarrette

Racial Profiling Is Un-American, www.realclearpolitics.com
Now the embattled group is Muslim Americans. In the USA Today/Gallup poll, 39 percent of Americans said they felt at least some prejudice against Muslims. The same percentage favored requiring Muslims, including those who were U.S. citizens, to carry a special ID to help prevent future terrorist attacks. And 22 percent of respondents said they wouldn’t want Muslims as neighbors.

John Pomfret, Two Sides to the Border Fence, The Washington Post (Background Reading)
Legislation passed by Congress mandating the fencing of 700 miles of the U.S. border with Mexico has sparked opposition from an array of land managers, businesspeople, law enforcement officials, environmentalists and U.S. Border Patrol agents as a one-size-fits-all policy response to the nettlesome task of securing the nation’s borders.

Paired Editorials—The Fence along the U.S.-Mexican Border

Luis Alberto Urrea

The $1.2 Billion Fence Adds Little or No Security, San Francisco Chronicle
On the Mexican side, among much gnashing of teeth, there is a joke that has been circulating the whole time. The gist of it is: Let them put up a fence! They’ll hire us to build it! Then, when it’s done, we’ll run the tourist concessions and the taco stands. Then, when they get tired of it, they’ll hire us to tear it down!

Duncan Hunter

Building a Wall Between Worlds, San Francisco Chronicle
This level of success illustrates that border fencing works. In fact, the San Diego border fence is serving to benefit both sides of the border. As conditions in San Diego County have improved, communities on the Mexican side of the border are no longer at the mercy of the armed gangs and drug smugglers who once roamed and controlled the Tijuana smuggling corridor.

Photo Essay

Peter Turnley

The Line—Photographs from the U.S.-Mexican Border
Paired Websites—Two Scientific Views of Global Warming

Union of Concerned Scientists

The Heartland Institute
Part 6 Reading Textbooks

Measuring Public Opinion,” from “Public Opinion—Listening to Citizens,” AM

GOV—Making Citizenship Meaningful

Joseph R. Dominick, Fritz Messere, Barry L. Sherman. “The Ratings Process,”

from “Ratings and Audience Feedback,” Broadcasting, Cable, the Internet,

and Beyond

Benjamin B. Lahey, “Sleep and Dreams: Conscious While Asleep,” from “States of

Consciousness,” Psychology: An Introduction.

Conrad Phillip Kottak, “Race,” from “Ethnicity and Race,” Anthropology: The

Exploration of Human Diversity.

Sylvia S. Mader, “Seed Plants, Gymnosperms, and Angiosperms,” from “Evolution

and Diversity of Plants,” Biology.

Reading Comprehension Progress Chart

Index of Authors and Readings

Index of Vocabulary Preview Words

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