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Book Review: A Community of Readers: A Thematic Approach To Reading by Roberta Alexander and Jan Jarrell

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A Community of Readers: A Thematic Approach To Reading by Roberta Alexander and Jan Jarrell is an excellent book which covers the dynamics of critical reading for college. The authors describe reading as a process which consists of reflection, the need to know or discriminate, the use of a dictionary, main ideas, evidence, inferences and plenty of exercises demonstrating critical thinking.

The book provides a very extensive tool kit which includes visual aids, how to take class notes, test taking, writing tips, navigating websites, reading circles of students and sample book projects. This section is extremely valuable because it deals with facilitating learning transfer for college students.

The authors present an extensive section on how to use a dictionary. In addition, the text points out the necessity of frequently utilizing the glossary for texts. There is an area which isn’t emphasized, though:  English literature often contains advanced vocabulary that is not listed in the back of the book. In those instances, students must refer to a standard dictionary.

The easy way around this is to peruse the book, extract the advanced vocabulary and research meanings in the dictionary prior to actually reading the full volume. These steps will assist in enhancing your vocabulary. Too often, students just gloss over unknown words and lose the meaning intended by the author. In addition, students in all grades should research all unfamiliar vocabulary as preparation for exams like the SAT, GRE and entrance exams in professions like law or medicine.

The authors provide at least six pages of suggested readings, as well as suggested websites. The readings are aimed at developing skills for potential student projects and other advanced work in college. In addition, the authors provide a considerable section on applying what you read in small group discussions and forums.There is an instructor’s version of this work which has the instructor’s manual, power point slides, instructor links, a test bank and student companion website.

A Community of Readers is an important work for developing reading skills with a view toward college applications in a variety of important settings.This work can be helpful because department chairpeople are getting away from course grades based solely on examinations. Currently, there is a move toward having students develop work products which reflect critical analysis, class participation, field work, small group participation and extensive data analysis for subjects like econometrics. This book is an important resource for these would-be students.

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About Dr Joseph S Maresca

I've taught approx. 34 sections of collegiate courses including computer applications, college algebra, collegiate statistics, law, accounting, finance and economics. The experience includes service as a Board Director on the CPA Journal and Editor of the CPA Candidates Inc. Newsletter. In college, I worked as a statistics lab assistant. Manhattan College awarded a BS in an allied area of operations research. The program included courses in calculus, ordinary differential equations, probability, statistical inference, linear algebra , the more advanced operations research, price analysis and econometrics. Membership in the Delta Mu Delta National Honor Society was granted together with the degree. My experience includes both private account and industry. In addition, I've worked extensively in the Examinations Division of the AICPA from time to time. Recently, I passed the Engineering in Training Exam which consisted of 9 hours of examination in chemistry, physics, calculus, differential equations, linear algebra, probability/ statistics, fluids, electronics, materials science/structure of matter, mechanics, statics, thermodynamics, computer science, dynamics and a host of minor subject areas like engineering economics. A very small percentage of engineers actually take and pass the EIT exam. The number has hovered at circa 5%. Several decades ago, I passed the CPA examination and obtained another license in Computer Information Systems Auditing. A CISA must have knowledge in the areas of data center review, systems applications, the operating system of the computer, disaster recovery, contingency planning, developmental systems, the standards which govern facility reviews and a host of other areas. An MBA in Accounting with an Advanced Professional Certificate in Computer Applications/ Information Systems , an Advanced Professional Certificate in Finance and an Advanced Professional Certificate in Organizational Design were earned at New York University-Graduate School of Business (Stern ). In December of 2005, an earned PhD in Accounting was granted by the Ross College. The program entrance requires a previous Masters Degree for admittance together with a host of other criteria. The REGISTRAR of Ross College contact is: Tel . US 202-318-4454 FAX [records for Dr. Joseph S. Maresca Box 646 Bronxville NY 10708-3602] The clinical experience included the teaching of approximately 34 sections of college accounting, economics, statistics, college algebra, law, thesis project coursework and the professional grading of approx. 50,000 CPA examination essays with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Additionally, membership is held in the Sigma Beta Delta International Honor Society chartered in 1994. Significant writings include over 10 copyrights in the name of the author (Joseph S. Maresca) and a patent in the earthquake sciences.