Rdg Document Template - University of Reading

Study Advice & Maths Support
Moving up to higher education
Exercises to help you prepare for higher education study
Studying independently: Finding, selecting and evaluating resources
Exercise 6: Reading abstracts
This exercise aims to give you practice in identifying the key points of a report or article so that you can judge quickly
whether it is relevant to your research. Find and read an abstract for a report or article (don’t read the whole report or
article!). Briefly describe each of the following: the aim of the research described; the main methods used; the most
important finding; how that finding related to the original aim. Here is an example.
Title and abstract
Aim of the research described
Main methods used
Dictionary use – the need to teach strategies
This article reports on a small-scale introspective study of intermediate learners of
German using bilingual and monolingual dictionaries for reading comprehension. It
investigated which strategies the subjects used when looking up words in their
dictionaries, whether strategy use is dependent on the type of dictionary, and where
the subjects needed training in order to acquire more effective strategies. The thinkaloud data revealed a range of inappropriate strategies that resulted in the failure (a)
to locate words in the dictionary, (b) to identify the suitable meaning of words with
several meanings, and (c) to understand the meaning of unknown words. The
findings underline previous claims that learners need systematic instruction in
dictionary use. Three areas for strategy training are proposed.
To provide further data to test previous claims about systematic instruction in
dictionary use.
Small-scale study, collecting and analysing data provided by students.
(‘Introspective’ = reflective? ‘Think-aloud’ = spontaneous?)
Most important finding/s
Language learners tend to use inappropriate strategies when using dictionaries.
How do findings relate to
original aim?
They confirm previous claims that learners need systematic instruction in dictionary
These resources were developed by Study Advice & Maths Support, University of Reading (2010), made possible by funding from the VetNet
Lifelong Learning Network. Educators are welcome to freely use and adapt the resources for their students: please acknowledge the original authors.
More at www.reading.ac.uk/internal/studyadvice/NewtoUniversity/sta-newtouniversity.aspx.