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2. Think about

  • what the title and subheadings reveal about the content of the article or essay
  • what the lead-ins reveal about the content
  • how the first and last paragraphs may set up and wrap up the focus or thesis
  • what the graphics may reveal about the content
  • what the biographical information about the author reveals about the author's purposes and/or biases
  • what the date may reveal about the original audience

As with the textbook strategy, help students focus their previewing by asking them to answer the following questions:

1. What do you already know about this topic?
2. List three things you would be interested in learning about this topic.
3. What do you think is the purpose of this reading?
4. What learning goal(s) can you set for yourself as you read this?
5. Have you already noticed words which you do not recognize? How will you deal with unfamiliar vocabulary? Will you try to understand words first in context of the sentence? Will you look them up in a dictionary or the glossary?

Encourage students to sustain this activity throughout the semester by having them acquire a notebook dedicated to the previewing questions and answers. This can also be done in online discussion boards or learning blogs.