Modules HR143 (Assignment and Presentation) and IS161 have been paramount in the development of my literacy skills and the challenging nature of these modules has brought me to develop new approaches to study and a whole new way of learning relevant subject matter. The University website www.unn.ac.uk has also been an important factor in my studies and covertly has brought my literacy skills to a higher level with regards to finding reference books and other texts.
L1 Reading and synthesizing information are described as the main factors of developing literacy skills, these two items where a large part of my first semester with having to produce a number of essays on specific subject matter. Selecting Material Selecting reading material that contained the information I needed to complete my SM139 seminar work was quickly and efficiently accessed using the Universities ‘Reading Lists’ pages (available online at www.unn.ac.uk). Here I could access all the recommended and essential reading texts that were available to me during my Business Management course (fig 1.1).Order now
(Fig.1.1) The online reading lists helped me to select the most precise and accurate information recommended by module lecturer. Reading Materials When I think of reading a textbook the thought is extremely daunting because there is so much information to read and with other responsibilities to other modules time is of the essence. During my A-Levels I discovered a website that was dedicated to improving your reading skills, techniques of speed reading and most importantly being able to reduce the intake of irrelevant information.
This again was particularly helpful in reading textbooks in my first and second semester at University. The Website http://web.nps.navy.mil/~menissen/mn3309/readguid.htm has introduced me to ‘Skim reading’ and the following extract describes just some of the invaluable techniques I have introduced into my 1st Year studies at Northumbria in many HR143 and SM139 seminar case studies. (Fig1.2)
Speed Reading Tips These tips are derived from standard courses available on speed reading. Speed reading enables the reader to cover all printed material in less time. The techniques below can complement speed reading in that they can reduce the amount of printed material required to be read. Specific speed reading tips include: 1. Try not to “say” the words to yourself (even mentally) as you read. This limits your reading speed to your speaking speed. 2. Look for the key words in each sentence and try to avoid reading less-important articles, conjunctions and like “small” terms.
3. Use you hand or finger to trace a path for your eyes (Fig 1.2) Synthesizing the key information in a form that is relevant to purpose; Synthesizing key information is a situation in which you create or manufacturing or information and this had been very true in my Human Resources (HR143) Module. We set the task of compiling evidence on two managers or world leaders, comparing their management styles, personalities and write and essay explaining their differing styles.
This essay gave me chance to accurately identify texts or sources that would be appropriate for the task in hand, I used Richard Branson’s own book ‘Losing My Virginity’ as the primary source from which much material for my essay could be synthesized. Richard Branson’s book had a lot of information about his background and life away from business, it was therefore important that I was not distracted by the irrelevant information. To eliminate time lost searching for his management credentials I looked up keywords in the glossary of the book, words such as ‘Management’, ‘Behaviour’ and others linked with his business. This method proved most valuable and was relevant to the purpose of getting only the necessary facts and information.
Identifying accurately, and comparing, the lines of reasoning and main points from texts and images; Identifying the main points from large text used in my HR143 seminars was to quickly ‘skim’ through the case study just to get a feel of what the study is about, I then read the questions after which I take a further look at the text and highlight any appropriate phrases or words that appear or are linked to the question. Sub-Headings are extremely useful in searching for the most relevant sections of information as they are designed to attract the reader to particular sections of interest or main points. I then employ a method of reading the question, going back to the text (looking for underlined or highlighted words or phrases) and then answer the question.
The use of this technique has helped me through GCSE and A Levels, and is proving most useful in my Business Management degree in many different modules. L2 selecting and using a form and style of writing that is appropriate to purpose and complex subject matter; IS161 We were given an assignment by our module tutor Dimitra that stated we must create a Word processed document on a topic from a list provided, and that is was to be handed in towards the end of the 1st semester, I thought that writing a few pages about Globalisation would be easy and passing would be no real hardship. However, It wasn’t as easy as merely constructing a document and then submitting it, there were specific criteria that had to be followed, we had to use specific skills and use technical functions to complete the task. Below is just a sample of the skills and functions that had to be incorporated into the assignment (fig 1.3).