French academic reading : how to approach it + 1 book for a deep studying

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French academic reading

Reading academic texts is different compare to reading a newspaper or a French literature novel for your pleasure. Academic reading requires a strategy which is more active. It is a very important skill to have to complete a written assignment. You need to read in a strategic way to be able to have an eay comprehension of the topics, to find the right element in the text, and developing your ideas.
Academic reading requires several aspects :
-asking questions
-thinking about the links between parts of the text
-interpretation
-to make the link with other readings
-to clarify topics and the subject

What is the difference between the active and passive reading ?

-Do you read without any effort to go through the pages you have to read ? -Do you pay not a lot of attention to analyse and remember the essential ideas ?
-You do not feel very engaged into reading ?  
-You not read again some parts of the text and you do not ask questions to yourself ?
If your answer is yes, if you recognize yourself in these questions, it means you have like a passive behavior while you are reading, so you could get more advantage of the material.

When you have an active reading you have to ask yourself several times the same questions, and develop ideas on what you have just read. If you have an active reading, you will get :
-a more competent reading and studying time
-you will be more focused on what you read
-a better understanding of the main informations

If you read in a passive way :
-you go to fast through the text
-you forget quickly what you have just read
-you do something else while you are reading : sending emails, watching TV,…

If you read in an active way :
-to ask yourself questions to find what is the interpretation of the text  -make a kind of summary of the principle element of the text

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How to do it ?

Having a check of the text

Having a quick look at resources you study on, at the same time you remember the subject you have to work on. What you need to do is to make the links between the content of the text and the subject you have to work on.
Here are several steps :
-For a text : have a look at the chapter, the different section, the headings and subheadings. For a book : have a look at the table content
-Read the introduction, the conlcusion and the summary  
-Pay attantion to the bold and italic words
-If there are charts, any kind of graphics, analyze them

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Questions yourself permanently

Question yourself permanently while you are reading, you need to constantly having in mind the subject you work on to be able to make the link between it and the text. While doing this you are creating like a path to get the right informations easily and efficiently, it is good for the comprehension.
The questions are who, what, when, where, why, how.
-Who : who will benefit from the element exposed in the text ?
-What : what are the main points, what are the arguments for them ? -When : when do the story or the event take place ? Before or after a historical episode ? What is or what arre the situations ?
-Where : where does it take place ?
-Why : why the story is presented in this way ? With this emphasis ?
-How : how the main elements of the text are illustrated ?

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The way of reading

I suggest you to read the text with the intention of finding answers to your questions. I suggest you to do the following actions to make it clearer :
-separate the text into several little parts to make it easier to go through it -while you are looking for the answers to your questions, maybe you will get a new variety of  questions, write them down

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Click on the picture if you want to see it on Amazon
Don’t forget to read the comments

A Short Course in Reading French

This textbook teaches the basics of French grammar, with exercises and practice translations. It is good for people who learns to do research in French or preparing themselves for exams. In addition, A Short Course in Reading French exposes readers to a large range of French texts. The book begins with French accent and cognates and moves through nouns, articles, and prepositions : verbs, adjectives, and adverbs. A presentation of all the indicative and subjunctive tenses, object, relative, and other pronouns, the passive voice, common idiomatic constructions, expressions,… Chapters contain translations passages from such authors as Pascal, Montesquieu, Proust, Sartre, Bourdieu, Senghor, Cesaire, de Certeau, de Beauvoir, Barthes, and Kristeva. Teaching French to people from academic and nonacademic backgrounds.  Here is a testimonial : « This is an excellent training workbook geared at developing reading skills in French. While it doesn’t include speaking skills, it does have an accent guide to help you get the sounds right in your head. I have been using it in conjunction with Duolingo for further reinforcement consistently over the past 6 weeks and it has been incredibly useful and challenging (in a good way!) », « My class at Oxford recommended this book for humanities reading class. Definitely the best guidance I have ever had », « I took Ms. Brickman’s course through the Hyde Park Language Program while she was developing this book many years ago. I decided to buy her book as a bit of a refresher course and I am not disappointed. Going through it and doing the exercises brought me right back to her class. I cannot recommend this book enough, It will help you to get more fluency without going to the university ».

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Have a look at the others articles to get more resources, to get more fluency, to know French literature, French expressions you can use in different situations. To be your own teacher, to be able to have nice talks with native speakers. To put emphasis on improving your language skills, studying a variety of aspects of the French language. If you do want to go to the university.

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Thank you for reading this article !
Thomas 😀