Effective Close Reading Strategies for IB English Success

Moving up to the IB English Curriculum is an excellent opportunity to expand a student’s worldview and critical thinking. This journey will not be easy; it requires dedication, strategy, and support, all of which can be augmented by working with an English tutor for IB in Hong Kong with Aegis Advisors. To get a taste of our expertise, here are some of our tutor tips for effective close reading, an essential part of success in IB English.

Close Reading is an active process.

When reading for IB English, students need to remember that this process is different from reading for pleasure. Understanding the gist of what is happening won’t cut it for the level of analysis required in this course. Students will need to pay attention to tone, syntax, structure, theme, perspective, and more. Our English tutors for IB in Hong Kong are well versed in these topics and can provide guidance as to what students should be looking for.

Use your writing implements.

Active reading requires deep engagement with the text, and students should always tackle this task with a pen in hand. Our English tutors for IB in Hong Kong prefer that all students have their own copies of the texts in the curriculum. Thus, when students are actively reading they can take notes in the margins, highlight, underline, mark important pages or quotes with sticky notes, and create a reference that can guide their further work with this text. Having such a thorough trove of information overlaying the author’s words will help students contribute more effectively in class, create more convincing arguments with evidence in their essays, and allow them to gain more from each work.

Read smarter, not faster.

Close reading is a lot of work, especially with the volume of text required in the IB English curriculum. While students need to be highly engaged with the texts, they can also make this easier on themselves, especially if they find themselves getting distracted. If a student is struggling to finish all of their readings, they can practice running their capped pen under the line of each text to keep the eye focused on the content of the text. Our English Tutors for IB in Hong Kong also suggest that students make note of how they feel when reading at different times of the day and in certain spaces. If a student tends to read in bed right before they go to sleep and has trouble staying awake, they should consider rearranging the order of their homework. Students could try reading in the morning instead, sitting at a table, or splitting up their readings. Our tutors can provide further strategies for the best reading environments.

Put it in your own words.

Even when students make efforts to change their reading schedules and use their pens to concentrate and engage with the texts, some students that our English Tutors for IB in Hong Kong have worked with will need additional comprehension skills. Another tool for understanding is to jot down a few notes of summary after each page to check their comprehension and remind them when they are looking back on the text. When working with Aegis Advisors English tutors for IB in Hong Kong, students can get feedback on their summaries to practice their effectiveness at this skill and allow them to gain confidence in their own understanding. This can be broken down to paragraph levels for even trickier texts. Rather than rewrite every paragraph, students can challenge themselves to rephrase the paragraph’s meaning in their own words. If this still proves challenging, students can reread the first and last sentence of a paragraph which often tie together the points made in that sections and can assist with comprehension

Use close reading to make connections in the text and across texts.

IB English centers on critical thinking and analysis of highly complex readings. To aid in this process, students should keep notes from their active reading in a separate document or note book, allowing them to cross compare chapters and texts as needed. Jotting down the themes, main plot points, interesting quotes, and other pieces of interest after each day’s reading assignment will greatly assist students in building strong and original arguments for their essays. When reviewing these general notes from their close reading, students can work with Aegis Advisors English tutors for IB in Hong Kong to find the threads of their essays from the notes on each section of reading. Working with a tutor to perfect an argument and its evidence after putting in all the work of close reading will allow students to find their confidence in essay writing and success in their coursework.

Close, active reading is a skill that all people can use for the rest of their lives, and creating a basis for this through engaging with Aegis Advisors tips on reading and working with our English tutors for IB in Hong Kong.  Aegis Advisors has a team of experienced and committed private tutors who can help on IB English as well as a full range of subjects across all major curriculums. Contact us today to see how we can help.