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May 2002 Issue

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Book Review

By Roseanna Almaee, Director Darton College Writing Center

Email: almaeer@darton.edu 

Book: Handbook of College Reading and Study Strategy Research
Editors:   Flippo, Rona F. & Caverly, David C.
Publisher: Lawrence Earlbaum Associates, Inc. 
Pages: 509. 
Price: $59.95.
Order:  http://www.erlbaum.com.

            The Handbook of College Reading and Study Strategy Research (HCRSSR) is one of the “must reads” that should be in every Learning Center. It is a valuable resource for administrators, instructors, tutors, and individuals involved in or starting on research. The text is written by authors who are well known in the field, such as Norman Stahl, David Caverly, Mary Deming, Rona Flippo, Hunter Boylan, and James White, just to name a few.  The writing is concise and direct, but at the same time thorough, comprehensive, and has sound applications ready for use in the classroom or tutorial session.

In the forward Martha Maxwell says of the book that “it is the only current volume that describes in depth the theories and research on which college reading and study strategy programs are based…[and] it offers researchers and scholars important solutions to problems and suggestions about areas that need to be further explored…”  Even though this book specifically deals with the college learner, the implications for teaching reading and study strategies are of such importance that it should be required reading in teacher education programs from elementary through adult.

            One of the most valuable aspects of the book is the huge volume of references and suggested readings. Some of the chapters have several pages of material for future consideration, so no graduate student can ever complain that there is noting left to do in the field or that he/she cannot find something to research in the field. Even the forward written by Martha Maxwell and the preface written by the editors contain numerous references and suggested readings – which I find highly unusual, but delightfully so.

            The Handbook begins with a chapter on history which lends perspective to where we have been and provides the groundwork for the ensuing chapters filled with what we need to be doing today. Furthermore, this chapter establishes the pattern that the rest of the chapters follow. Each chapter starts with a history or overview of its specific area, and then offers a very comprehensive discussion of the related research. After the reader is well grounded in research, the authors present theories and ideas pertaining to instruction and application. Each area is represented with headings and sub-headings making reading and comprehension of this vast amount of information more digestible. Each chapter then ends with a conclusion, a well thought out recommendation for further research, and an extensive list of references and suggested readings. The chapters are comprehensive enough and so well designed that each could easily stand alone as an individual book.

All the varied issues related to reading and study strategies are discussed, such as vocabulary development, comprehension, textbook study-reading, the reading-writing connection, note taking, and test taking. Additional chapters are devoted to the ESL population, technology, and development and evaluation of reading and study programs, as well as reading tests.

            The editors close with an extensive author list and subject list, providing an efficient guide for further reading and research. The Handbook of College Reading and Study Strategy Research is a excellent choice for any learning center library.



Boyle, Stacey. (2002) Thompson/Netg. Retrieved from,  http://www.netg.com/research/staff.asp


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