Textbook Clues to Meaning

Directions: Use this questionnaire to evaluate your ability to recognize and make use of textbook clues to meaning. Make one copy of the questionnaire for each of your textbooks. Then select one chapter from each textbook and fill out the questionnaire by writing in the blanks or by circling the letter of the correct answer. Questions 1, 2, and 3 can be answered right after you complete your chapter survey; the remaining questions can only be answered after you have finished reading most or all of the chapter.

Textbook Title:


Number of pages in assignment: _______

Number of Pages to be covered in this study session: _______

1. Does the chapter open with any of the following?

a. Lists of key questions
b. Lists of headings
c. Lists of learning objectives
d. A chapter overview
e. A story or anecdote
f. A chapter outline
e. Other__________________________________________

2. How did you use this introductory material to guide your reading?

3. Does the author open chapter sections with questions to guide your reading?_________

If your answer is yes, did you make use of them?__________

If your answer is no, explain why you didn’t use them.

4. Does the author use any of the following devices to highlight key points?

a. Boldface
b. Italics
c. Colored ink
d. Marginal notes
e. Graphs, tables or charts
f. Other:

5. How did you use this device or these devices to guide your reading?

6. Do the headings provide clues to the chapter sections?___________

7. Did you consistently use the headings to focus your reading?__________

8. How would you rate the writing in the chapter?

a. Easy to understand
b. Hard to understand
c. Somewhere in-between

If your answer was b, how did you respond to the complexity of the writing? For example, did you mark passages for re-reading, read more slowly than normal or underline while you read?

9. How would you rate your reading performance?

a. I worked as hard as I could and tried to adapt my reading to the material.
b. I started out really focused, but I got tired and gave up after the first few pages.
c. I just went through the motions; I didn’t really work to understand the author’s meaning.

If you circled either b or c, can you describe what went wrong?

10. For the next reading assignment, what will you do differently?

What reading technique or strategy do you plan to use again?

Last change made to this page: Feb. 28, 2014

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