Reading Comprehension Strategies – Synthesizing Information

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Synthesis is the process of ordering, recalling, retelling, and recreating information into a new understanding of text. It is a complex comprehension strategy. It is not simply creating a summary of the text read. Synthesis involves:

  • retelling the story
  • explaining how the story or information relates to the reader
    • text-to-self
    • text-to-text
    • text-to-world
    • combining your own thoughts with the information you are reading  for a solid comprehensive perspective

As you read a text it is your thinking about the text and the schema that you bring to the reading that creates an understanding of the book. Here are some guiding questions to consider while synthesizing:

  • What does the author believe? What shows me what the author is thinking?
  • What else have I read that is like this text?
  • Has this reading changed my opinion on this topic?
  • Does this text make me think differently about things that I know or have experienced in my own life?

Synthesis is really the culmination of a reader’s comprehension strategies. Synthesis is sifting through all of the information that a reader has available and creating new insight as thinking evolves.

Sam Williams

Senior Curriculum Consultant

Rourke Publishing

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