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Deep Reading, Iterative Reading


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Deep reading and Iterative reading are two related facets of the much broader, Literary studies landscape. Thus, I give you a two part post.

It's rather difficult to tee off a discussion without a solid swing, without the proper club. So I guess I'll start with Deep Reading.

For anyone who doesn't know what deep reading is, one would say such a lack of knowledge is akin to a President who doesn't know what foreign policy is. As deep reading is as fundamental to literature as water is to a fish.

Fundamentally, Deep Reading is a cognitively demanding approach to comprehending and understanding a text. It entails readers to extract not only surface level meaning, but also deeper insights, scour through multiple layers, familiarizing themselves with what typically seems to be an endless multitude of meaning's. In fact, deep reading often reveals many different interpretations with a barrage of meanings. One can draw many different inferences and particularly wound up interpretations within the confines of a single paragraph, or even a single sentence. It's true!

Naturally, Deep Reading also involves critical analysis , where one begins by probing the content with a cerebral intensity trying to uncover explicit and implicit meaning, catching the general ideas as well as the deeper not so obvious concepts. One must address the implications of a dialogue, and assess the strength and validity of the information, or argument, determining the credibility and so on.

Ok, less than stellar post your saying.

Enter, Iterative reading.

Iterative reading compliments deep reading like bacon and beer. Iterative reading entails revisiting a text, reading and re reading. And Re Reading! Oh, and Re Reading.

Personally I find it enriching and intellectually rewarding to go over and over a text multiple times, unveiling the nuances and making connections between concepts and ideas within the text. The fact is simply that revisiting the material numerous times allows for a gradual revelation of concepts and layers that one might miss during initial readings. Pulling the pieces together and learning the text inside and out, is how reading is intended to be!

It's important to note that iterative reading requires a dedicated commitment and also requires time and patience. The more times you revisit a piece of text, the greater your own story will unfold. Intended mostly for academic pursuits and philosophical studies, these techniques can be applied to any form of complex or convoluted literature that requires scrutiny and analysis.

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Regressive Reading

First of all, to encapsulate a thorough and detailed explanation of what regressive reading is, here is a few expansive sentences that will suffice for initial understanding as you progress through the material. Hopefully this will be a logical and coherent progression of ideas and concepts that will elicit thoughtful considerations and evoke insights into the broader literary landscape/expanse. Enough filling is space on the page.. Warp 1, Engage.

Reading is a very natural act, once equipped with the ability to do so. The ups and downs of literary study are vast and multifaceted. For example, in the pursuit of deeper comprehension, one encounters areas in the textual world where they are comfortably engaged with content, and their flow of comprehension is unimpeded while all the details and concepts, mesh! 

One often experiences an effortless absorption of the material, getting the internal sense that their understanding of the broader picture is completely clear and cohesive. It's rewarding, and revisiting the text is sometimes necessary in literary studies or areas of science where dense material requires more than a superficial reading.

However, the difference between intentional rereading and regressive reading. Well, they are two polar opposites (depending on your understanding of each concept).

When reading, a state of flow is characterized as a smooth, uninterrupted reading experience where comprehension and focused engagement is very natural, and the progression from one sentence to the next, seems simple. Right?

Well then. The idea of regressive reading, implicitly states that the process of sequential reading and logical progression of comprehension as one explores the text, is inhibited by treading "backwards" though the material.. (revisiting ambiguities)

Expanding on this...

Sometimes readers fixate on a particular part of a text, or a sentence that just does not want to make sense. Their brain can be deceptive in a sense where one will convince themselves their comprehension of a particular sentence is unclear or its ambiguities are too generalized. Their eyes will retract to a previous sentence in an iterative sense, trying to make a more comprehensive understanding of the misunderstood information. Great, just re read. Ambiguities are clear. Simple?

Well, no necessarily so.

Interrupting the state of flow during ambiguous encounters within the text, can lead to an interrupted or disrupted understanding of the natural flow. Short term memory is just that.. Short! And the longer you spend time recapping on small portions of text, slowly will derail your real time engagement with the consistent flow of ideas. Which then entails more re readings! 

It's ok to revisit texts, but typically most "leftest" of literary studies, encourage readers to spend less time on rereading. And focus on faster, less frequent rereads. 

While reading is a typical form of comprehending and interpreting information. It is best approached by adjusting the frequency of iterative reading, depending on the complexity of the material and ones familiarity with the content.


Edited by Marzshox
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Working memory. Reading cognition.

Working memory is limited which can pose some challenges during extensive reading. Ideas drawn from the text and the text's seamless flow can be hindered by lapses in memory, as working memory can only sustain so much information at once. 

Processing the Information and synthesizing it, requires adequate time to be rendered during its conceptualizing, in working memory.

As new input of information is processed in working memory, the information sometimes displaces earlier information held previously in memory. As one progresses through material, it's essential to retain earlier parts of the text in your working memory, to develop a coherent and some what comprehensive understand of context that requires an accurate and most times, holistic understanding.

Summarizing the text, or mentally rehearsing dense material can ensure a proper thorough understanding, even while memory lapses can be quite common and sometimes consistent. Other strategies such as note taking and annotating is a sure way to help bridge the gaps in memory. Sometimes it's more effective to summarize the content in your own words. This helps with synthesizing the content and helps you retain and recall information better.

Our innate ability to hold information in our working memory, means that cognitive tasks such as reading dense material is a smooth and effortless activity, once working memory is working optimally. Reading strategies complement the information absorption step, and sometimes rehearsing is not always necessary when you have read the same content several or more times. Do not underestimate the iterative approach. By revisiting a text you will most surely always be a more informed as a reader.

So in summary, working memory is a valuable asset of the human brain. Reading extensively in time will gradually improve working memory. There are many activities and tasks that will expand your working memories capacity. Reading is at the top of the list. 

We all possess the ability to to retain information and make sense of long texts, connecting concepts in the text and making sense of intricate narratives and complex material. The reading experience should be a seamless and easy to do activity. 

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On 9/20/2023 at 2:51 AM, Marzshox said:

I would like to edit and add what I think is a fundamental aspect that I did not include previously. When engaging in iterative reading, an avid or even average reader must address a specific bottleneck that hinders and derails comprehension. Specifically during the iterative process this phenomenon can be quite prevalent.. 

One sometimes experiences a disruption or loses track of the thread during the process of revisiting a text, simply because they are trying to mesh their original understanding from previous readings to the same content. More of less, as they probe a text having already read it; that retaining their initial understanding of the text and applying it to your revised understanding, can cause problems.

As you approach a paragraph subsequent times, sometimes the text doesn't elicit the same interpretations is does during initial readings. One must approach each sentence and paragraph with an open, open-ended mind. Even if you are reading it a dozen times. This reveals the many layers often laden in texts.

Subsequently, one must approach any form of text, with an open mind and clear ears. Extracting novel information through the repeated readings , requires many iterations. It's fundamental for successful readings, to embrace the novel approach. 

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