Reading with Writers

You may find that you are not sure what the problem your writer faces actually is, and so you might begin by looking at the Difficulties to Overcome section below. Alternatively, if you’re trying to look for resources for offering assistance, you might look at the Strategies to Consider section a bit further down.

Most of these ideas are drawn from a conversation between Kyle Archibald, Anne Wettersten, and Andy Maines on the issue of reading with students.

Difficulties to Overcome

Writers who have difficulties with reading need not–and often do not–have the same kind of difficulties. Awareness of the specific concerns they do have takes careful attention. While not an exhaustive list, we’ve provided a few possible issues or concerns to consider when approaching reading issues. Additionally, there are some gaps in the way we might engage with their approaches, which can be hard to perceive without some consideration.

Providing Readings for Readers

Time-Pressure on Readers

Perceived Reading Weakness

Vocabulary Limitations

Sometimes when students do not engage with part of a text, they are missing the vocabulary used in the material they are reading. If they do not seem to latch onto the main concepts or skip over some of the language use in a given text, you may need to talk some about the specific words used in the material and ask what they mean.

The Summary Tendency


Strategies to Consider

Asking Questions about Readings

Active Reading

It can be easy to either read a text for a writer or passively sit back and listen to them relate their material to the reader.

Line-By-Line Reading Work

Provide Sample Annotations

Provide Sample Writing (Poetry) to Discuss

Co-Annotation Work