WELCOME TO THE EXCELSIOR ONLINE READING COMPREHENSION LAB

Online Reading Comprehension Lab

IntroductionWelcome to the new Online Reading Comprehension Lab!

This page will introduce you to the Online Reading Comprehension Lab. It addresses the importance of literacy, the difference between active reading and passive reading, a description of some common reading systems that promote active reading, and an overview of site resources.

    • Learn about active vs. passive reading.
    • Watch interviews of people sharing their literacy narratives and reflecting on the importance of reading.
    • Explore some common reading systems that promote active reading.
    • See an overview of all the resources available on the Reading Lab.

Go to the Introduction

PreviewingPreview a text before you read to become a better reader.

Learn how to preview a text in order to familiarize yourself with its contents before you read. This will help you understand the material better and use your time more efficiently.

    • Watch an instructional video on previewing.
    • Complete online activities to practice previewing.
    • Download a reference guide on previewing.
    • Download a transcript for the video.
    • Explore additional resources on previewing.

Go to Previewing

QuestioningUse questioning before, during, and after reading.

Learn how to ask questions about a text before, during, and after reading to improve your understanding of the text. Topics covered include using questioning to examine your purpose, expectations, attitude, and understanding of the topic; writing guide questions; using questioning to monitor your understanding as you read; and using questioning to evaluate what you’ve read.

    • Watch an instructional video on questioning.
    • Complete online activities to practice questioning.
    • Download a reference guide on questioning.
    • Download a transcript for the video.
    • Explore additional resources on questioning.

Go to Questioning

AnnotatingEngage texts by annotating while you read.

Annotating while you read is one of the most fundamental techniques of active reading. Learn how to read and annotate different kinds of texts.

    • Watch an instructional video on creating an annotation system.
    • Watch instructional videos on annotating books, essays, textbooks, journal articles, and works of fiction.
    • Watch an instructional video on how to read and understand visual aids.
    • Complete online activities to practice annotation.
    • Download reference guides on annotating.
    • Explore additional resources on annotating.

Go to Annotating

InferencingRead between the lines to identify implied ideas.

Develop your inferencing abilities to identify main ideas and details that are implied in texts.

    • Watch an instructional video on inferencing.
    • Complete online activities to practice inferencing.
    • Download a reference guide on inferencing.
    • Download a transcript for the video.
    • Explore additional resources on inferencing.

Go to Inferencing

Vocabulary StrategiesLearn about ways to help you improve your reading vocabulary.

Develop your reading vocabulary by learning about context clues, word-part clues, specialized terminology, figurative language, vocabulary flashcards, KIM charts, and word webs.

    • Watch instructional videos on how to use context clues, word-part clues, vocabulary flashcards, KIM charts, and word webs to improve your reading vocabulary.
    • Watch instructional videos on understanding specialized terminology and figurative language.
    • Complete online activities to practice these vocabulary strategies.
    • Download reference guides on each vocabulary strategy.
    • Download templates to help you apply the vocabulary strategies.
    • Download transcripts for each video.
    • Explore additional resources on vocabulary strategies.

Go to Vocabulary Strategies

ParaphrasingUse paraphrasing to improve your reading comprehension.

Discover how paraphrasing differs from quoting and summarizing. Use paraphrasing to check your understanding of what the author says and improve your memory of it.

    • Watch an instructional video on paraphrasing.
    • Complete online activities to practice paraphrasing.
    • Download a reference guide on paraphrasing.
    • Download a transcript for the video.
    • Explore additional resources on paraphrasing.

Go to Paraphrasing

SummarizingUse summarizing to improve your reading comprehension.

Discover how summarizing is different from quoting and paraphrasing. Use summarizing to check your understanding of longer texts and identify the main ideas.

    • Watch an instructional video on summarizing.
    • Complete online activities to practice summarizing.
    • Download a reference guide on summarizing.
    • Download a transcript for the video.
    • Explore additional resources on summarizing.

Go to Summarizing

AnalyzingRead critically by analyzing what you read.

Develop your ability to analyze texts by identifying writing patterns, evaluating an author’s intent, evaluating an argument, evaluating a website, and creating graphic organizers like timelines, outlines, concept maps, and story maps to help you analyze what you read.

    • Watch instructional videos on rhetorical analysis that cover how to identify writing patterns, how to evaluate an author’s intent, and how to evaluate an argument.
    • Watch instructional videos on how to create graphic organizers like timelines, outlines, concept maps, and story maps to help you analyze what you read.
    • Watch an instructional video on how to evaluate a website for accuracy and reliability.
    • Complete online activities to practice analyzing.
    • Download reference guides on each analyzing technique.
    • Download additional handouts and templates on writing patterns, timelines, outlines, concept maps, and story maps.
    • Download transcripts for each video.
    • Explore additional resources on analyzing.

Go to Analyzing

SynthesizingSynthesize what you read to develop new perspectives.

Synthesize what you read by teasing out the main ideas and combining them with other ideas to formulate new perspectives.

    • Watch an instructional video on synthesizing.
    • Complete online activities to practice synthesizing.
    • Download a reference guide on synthesizing.
    • Download a transcript for the video.
    • Explore additional resources on synthesizing.

Go to Synthesizing

Online Writing LabVisit our award-winning Online Writing Lab!

The Excelsior OWL is designed to provide support for writers as they begin the process of writing for college and as they transition to writing outside of their introductory writing classes or programs.

The Excelsior OWL is unique in its multimedia support for writers. It offers a wide variety of interactive multimedia activities, quizzes, videos, interactive PDFs, and games – all designed to help writers understand important concepts about writing.

Educator ResourcesFind all sorts of goodies for educators at all levels.

Find all sorts of goodies for educators at all levels.

    • Build your own custom OWL with the Owlet tool.
    • Learn how to use the Excelsior OWL in writing classes and in classes across the curriculum.
    • Discover about how to integrate the Excelsior OWL into traditional, hybrid, flipped, and online classes.
    • Find our more information about how the Excelsior OWL connects to the Written Communication VALUE Rubric.

Discover our Educator Resources

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