Is it true that there are six steps to becoming an active reader?

Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that there are some widely accepted strategies to becoming an active reader.

I would not get caught up on numbers. Sometimes, the strategies are worded and configured differently, so our numbers might be different. However, most reading instructors agree that there are some basic steps to becoming an active reader.  One of these is prereading, which helps to "prime the engine" for what is about to be done.  Prereading can take the form of looking at the topic, and thinking about what one already might know about it.  Visualizing while reading is another behavior that active readers embrace. Good readers are able to construct how the reading looks in their own mind. Their focus is on the text and ensuring that what is present in their mind aligns to textual passages.  Annotation is another active reading strategy.  Good readers mark up the text through writing questions or connections in the margins, circling essential vocabulary, and even highlighting compelling evidence or textual main ideas.  This would include "signposting" essential phraseology such as "Most importantly" or "In conclusion."  Active reading also includes visualizing the text by creating outlines, flow charts, or diagrams. This helps to create a visual representation of textual understanding.  Finally, active readers are able to effectively summarize content points and authentically synthesize meaning from reading.

Whether or not this includes "five" or "six" points might not be as important as ensuring that the behaviors of active readers are taught to all level of reading.  There are definite steps and habits of active reading.  In this regard, the number is not as important as the depth of active reading instruction.