Texts hold a fundamental place in the area of literacy. In an assignment, the centrality of text permits students to grapple with key ideas, larger meanings, and author’s craft and intent. Students must have the opportunity to:
- display increasing expertise in interpreting and responding to a text, and
- draw evidence from a text to justify their responses and thinking.
Such skills are essential to postsecondary success and undergird pedagogical shifts. Specifically, an assignment fully reflects this centrality of text when students are required to cite evidence (e.g., paraphrasing, direct citation) to support an opinion, position, or claim.
- Do I ask students to interpret and respond to complex texts? When? How often?
- Do I ask students to cite textual evidence in order to support or develop a claim? When? How often?
- How do I select texts for my students to read?
Questions for Analysis
|What is the name of the text?|
|Is the text complex?|
If yes, what type(s) of text complexity do you notice?
|What is the genre of the text(s)?||
|What is the predominant text type?||
|Which best describes the text length?||
|Does the assignment solicit text-based responses? Is a student’s use of the text vital to successfully complete the assignment?||
|Does the assignment require students to cite evidence from the text?||