Reading Stages

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Stage One
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In this stage we should examine the aims, objectives and scope of the text, in order to build up some expectations about the kind of information found there. This includes a consideration of the title, the credentials of the author, and publishers, and the date, number of editions, etc.

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What topics do you expect to be discussed in Traditional Sudanese Medicine? And, just as importantly, what topics do you not expect to find there?

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What authority does the author have to discuss these topics?

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What authority can you not expect from the author?

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What do you know about the publishers and circumstances of publication?

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In case of electronic books like this one, what do you need to download and read it? How is it made? What are the strengths and weaknesses of eBooks?

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What other information contributes to the expectations with which you read this book?

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Stage Two
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We should examine the structure and organization of the parts of the book. Most books can be divided into three main parts: the preliminaries, the text and the post-text. If we are interested only in some specific topic which we expect is included in the scope of the book, we may turn first to the index and look it up. If we are interested in one specific author whose work we believe may have been referred to, where do we turn first? In which of the three main parts of a book do you expect the following to be and what information do you expect them to contain?

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Appendix

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Introduction

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Bibliography

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Chapter one

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Foreword

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Preface

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Glossary

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References

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Table of contents

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Title page

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Stage Three
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The third stage involves understanding the content of the book. There are many different techniques for doing this, some of which we shall practice on later chapters. One of the most successful techniques, however, is called 3Q3. It can be summarized as follows:

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S

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Q

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R

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R

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R

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Stage Four
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The final stage is to evaluate the knowledge you have acquired both in terms of whether the author has accomplished his objectives and in terms of the subject matter itself.

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What has the author not included and why?

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To what extent are the explanations given satisfactory?

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How would you have organized the information?

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Is the presentation oversimplified? Unclear? Confusing? Stimulating?

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Copyright 2001 by Ahmad Al Safi. All rights reserved.

This site was last updated March 20, 2005