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Title: Our inner note-taker : how do readers search for information in a lengthy, previously-read text?
Author: Kruger Arram, Naomi
ISNI:       0000 0004 9353 5433
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2020
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This thesis explores how readers search for information in long, previously-read texts. While this is an activity that people engage in regularly, it has been insufficiently studied in the existing body of research on reading and memory. A majority of reading and memory research focuses on short texts, such as word lists or short paragraphs, and the readers are usually tested immediately following the reading, such that long-term memory is not factored in. Furthermore, many reading studies involving the search for information rely more on eye movements or quantitative data collection methods than on the readers’ own subjective insights into their reading practices. In the current study, participants were asked to read a long expository text of over 3,000 words. A few days later, they were given reading comprehension-style questions. While answering the questions, readers were engaged in a Think Aloud protocol, explaining where they thought the answers were, and how they were searching for the information in the text. Thematic Analysis was used to evaluate their answers, gain metacognitive insights, and explore themes that would shed light on effective search strategies. The findings and analysis have revealed several interesting themes and insights. A variety of conscious, semi-conscious and unconscious search strategies were employed by the participants – including some which quite possibly have not been fully explored before in reading or memory studies. There are promising indications that confident readers employ more effective search and memory strategies than their less confident counterparts, especially in how they relate to the text as a whole unit, with divisible subsections. Follow-up studies in this area should further explore the readers’ insights and formulate practicable strategies for both students and educators to utilize in order to assist struggling readers - such as those with learning disabilities - in the search for information in long texts.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available