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Textbooks and Learning Resources

Reading Skills Review

In college, it’s crucial that you know how to uncover the facts and opinions presented in the material you read for class — and how to form your own opinions about it. Follow the following four steps to gain the strategies and skills you need to become a better reader:

  • Start off with Reading Skills Tutorial 1. First, take the pre-test, which will show where your strengths and weaknesses lie when it comes to reading. Work your way through the tutorial for a full skills tune-up, or pick and choose the lessons based on the weak points identified in your pretest results. When you’re finished, take the post-test, which will show you how far you’ve come. You’ll also receive a study plan that guides you back to the topics where you might still need work.
  • Strengthen your skills with practice sets based on three common types of reading material: informational (newspaper articles, news reports, and other fact-based writing), literary (novels, short stories, autobiographies, and more), and persuasive (opinion pieces, political writing, and other material that tries to convince you of certain a point of view). Make sure to review the answer explanations to the questions you got wrong or weren’t sure about — often you’ll learn the most by seeing why an answer is right or wrong.
  • Next, tackle Reading Skills Tutorial 2, which includes slightly more challenging passages. By the end, you should have a good grasp of the core reading skills needed at the college level.
  • Finally, download one or more reading skills eBooks for additional tips, guidance, and practice questions, or use the books and texts from your classes to practice your new skills. You’ll be surprised by how much more you understand, remember — and enjoy — what you read.

Writing Skills Review

No matter what major you pursue, if you can’t express yourself clearly in writing, your grades (and confidence) will suffer. The resources below include techniques you can apply to any writing assignment for class — and even emails, resumes, and the writing you do for fun. Get started here:

  • Begin with the Writing Skills Tutorial, which guides you through the writing process from start to finish. Learn strategies for coming up with original ideas, organizing them in a clear way, finding the right tone, and catching errors before you submit your work. Then use the prompt at the end of the tutorial to draft a sample essay, and review the instant feedback when you’re done.
  • Build your skills further with question sets targeting the foundations of great academic writing.
  • Finally, practice your new skills in your writing for class, and return to the tutorial as needed if you see a pattern in your instructors’ comments on your work.

Process of Writing

Social Issues and Viewpoints

Literature Databases and Resources