While reading “Community Building on the Border” I definitely tried to keep in mind the key points of the article “Predatory Reading” by Patrick Rael of Bowdoin College. The strategies that I found most useful were the following: topic sentences, signposts, and evidence. I not only found these to be easy to spot but they also helped me to get a greater understanding of the reading. These different approaches helped me dive deeper into the story being told which in turn helped me to become more active in the article.
The strategies I listed earlier also helped me to identify and assess elements of the 5 C’s present in the reading. The particular C that I find very obvious in this reading was context. The article focuses on the role that the African American military units played in settling parts of South Western America in the early 1900’s. That argument/focus is specifically on change in the population which is directly correlated with the evidence strategy of analytical reading. The author provides a great number of references that help to further prove their point.
Applying these analytical reading strategies definitely helped to open my eyes to the level of importance in historical reading. One must be actively involved to properly understand a historical paper. Asking questions, making personal connections, identifying important facts, as well as checking sources are all so important to get a well-rounded experience in historical reading.