Unit 3 Overview–College Level Critical Thinking and Reading; Unit Terms

Once you learn to read, you will be forever free. —Frederick Douglass

Unit Overview

Topics, Objectives, Materials, Terms, To-Do List


This unit covers the following focus points:

  • The Reading Apprenticeship approach
  • How to read textbooks and get to know the elements and resources they offer
  • How to read graphics
  • Comprehension by identifying writing patterns and context clues
  • Close reading for literature
  • Tips for reading math and science materials


After you have completed this unit you should be able to:

  • Understand how to use Reading Apprenticeship annotation strategies
  • Understand how to get the most out of your textbooks by learning how to skim, and how to find out all of the resources your textbooks offer
  • How to read closely for literature classes and other classes where literature is included with the readings
  • How to get the most out of your math and science materials and help with studying for tests in these subjects



  • e-book, “How to Learn Like a pro!” (instructor may require some materials to be downloaded)

Terms (These terms also appear in the Glossary of Terms)

NOTEthe definitions are adapted and/or abbreviated from the original.

Close reading: The process of determining meaning in a text by examining all of the elements, e.g., author, title, plot (if fiction), characters, setting, symbols, and rhetorical devices.

Cognitive: the mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses.

Fiction: Writing that is not factual; imaginative writing.

Legend: A key to the symbols and color codes on a map, chart, etc.

Metacognition: How we think about how we think.

Non-fiction: Factual writing (reports, journalism, etc.); not “made up”.

Inference: Information not specifically stated in the text; what can be read “between the lines”: what is suggested or implied based on the evidence in the text.

Idioms: Expression (metaphors) that compare one thing to another, e.g., “hungry as a bear.”

Metaphor: A comparison without using the terms, “like” or “as,” e.g., “Her smile is the sunshine.”

Reading Comprehension: The level of understanding of a text.

Simile: A comparison using the terms “like,” “as,”so,” or “than,” e.g., “Her smile is like the sunshine.”

To-Do List


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How to Learn Like a Pro! Copyright © 2016 by Phyllis Nissila is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.