Reading scientific & technical texts

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Reading scientific & technical texts involves
 Complex process of obtaining discipline-specific
information & retaining this information for future
use & reference
 Entails basic understanding of the subject &
familiarity with the material
 Should be concerned with subject-content and the
specific language used
1.Prepare for reading
 Focus and concentrate
 Use appropriate prediction techniques
 Recall related information
 Determine the time needed to complete the
assignment
 2.
scan the text
 To get some key information to make reading faster
and effective
 To discover graphic information
 Look for bibliography
listings/notes/questions/remarks
 Identify non-verbal signs and aids
 3.
Skim the test
 to get better understanding
 To ensure high degree of remembrance
 To understand the gist
 To discover the purpose &organisation
 To understand the subject
 to know about author’s central idea
 To identify main points
Need detailed and thorough reading
 observe the structure of text
 Analyse graphic information
 Respond to lexical meaning & functions of words
 Understand specific details
 recognize sentence patterns
 Recognize logical &thematic coherence
 Think critically & analytically
 Read silently
 Establish relationship between words and
meanings
 Recognize discourse/semantic markers

Needs careful reading plan
 Use note-making techniques
 Topicalise[central idea/main points/supporting
points]
 [Eg. Petroleum is important from an economic
stand point
 Topicalised : Economic importance of
petroleum]
 Copying the exact words
 Transcribing what is said in the form of writing
 Schematize [using graphs to organise notes]

 Scientific
information in the form of
figures/classification/contrast
 Description of a substance- table
 Description of a process flow chart
 Narrative Description- Table
 Classificatory information- tree diagram
 Comparative Description – table, list
 Contrastive Description- table. list
 Figurative information-table, list

The two best reading methods that can be used
effectively for reading scientific and technical texts
are:
ERRQ Reading Technique
The ERRQ technique was developed by Dorothy Watson
in
1985. The basic purpose of this strategy is to get the
reader to
link with new information.





Estimate
Read
Respond
Question
(what the text would be like)
 SQ3R
Reading Technique
 SQ3R is a well-tried and widely accepted
reading technique. This technique was
developed by F.P. Robinson in 1946 in his
book Effective Study.
 Survey ( discover purpose, organisation of
text)
 Question( appropriate questions)
 Read
 Recall
 Revise (to check the accuracy of reading
recall and review notes)
Laboratory, workshop, gadgets, machines,
project work etc.
It requires the following effective reading
strategies
1. Glance rapidly through the set of
instructions to identify the nature &
purpose of the instructions
2. Scan the graphic information
3. Recognize distribution of emphasis & focus
points
4. Skim the instructions
 To
skim the instructions
 Identify sequence of words to understand the
coherence & logical structure of instructions
 Identify Number of steps/tasks involved
 Identify Main instructions
 Recognize transition points in the instructions
 Understand the ordering of instructions
5. skim& scan
Read carefully after skimming &scanning
6. Note the following :
Concentrate on precautions
Understand the safety points
 Various
kinds of technical manuals –
guidelines to use operate, and maintain
complex system
Egs. Instruction manual/safety manuals
regulations/user manuals
Need various reading strategies
Skimming, scanning, intensive reading, critical
&inferential comprehension
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Glance rapidly through the manual to get focus on
subject, guess information of the text, aware of
the aids in the text that make reading faster
Skim before detailed reading to identify the
nature & purpose of the manual
Scan the graphic information, picture etc
Read thoroughly to get all details
Concentrate on safety part
Identify precautions to be taken
Consult glossary to know the meanings of
unfamiliar words and scientific/technical terms
 Look
for contextual signal words as well as
examples that define indirectly an unknown word or
phrase
 At the end recall and remember
A
technical writer uses many graphic
techniques to present technical information.
 One should be able to read and interpret
these graphic information
 There are generally four graphic aids used in
technical documents:
1.
Tables
2. Diagrams
3. Charts
4. graphs

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Graphic aids
Tables
Bar charts/diagrams
Tree diagrams
Graphs/line charts/line
diagrams
Flow diagrams
Pie charts/diagrams
Flow charts








Functions
Organise data into group
to related information
Show comparative
&contrastive information
Show classification of data
Show trend of relationship
between two dimensions
Show steps of process
Show infmn related to
proportions or %
Present complex processes
 Diagrams
and charts are used to simplify
complex information's
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