Introduction to Units Combining Reading and Writing Skills


The welcome video explains that LaunchPad Solo for Readers and Writers focuses on related skills taught separately. It points out that finding topics and main ideas, a reading skill, relates to thesis statements, a writing skill. The units in this section put the reading skills closer to the writing skills, so that you’ll find the related material in one place.


Three professors describe the ways they want their students to make notes while they read. They connect these reading processes with writing processes. As you watch, listen for these three claims:

Download transcript.


Reading is more closely connected to writing than you might assume. As Buscemi suggests in the video, being “committed to language” will improve your ability to respond to what you read and to write well (Berkow).

Both reading and writing involve processes—evolving steps you go through to understand and create information.

Reading as well as writing depends on your situation. For example, you do not read a physics textbook the same way you read an e-mail from a friend. Nor do you follow the same steps to create a grocery list as you would a research paper. Purpose guides your reading as well as your writing.

As a reader, you are trying to figure out what a writer means; as a writer, you are trying to help readers figure out what you mean. Readers understand more when their expectations are met, when a thesis statement provides a general map of the paper’s direction, for instance. Readers understand even more when the map covers a topic in a predictable way. As a writer, then, your goal is to figure out which predictable moves are expected in your particular writing situation and how to include them.


These units in this section highlight the predictable moves, which you can detect as a reader and aim for as a writer.

For example, in the argument unit, one of the reading activities focuses on recognizing claims and assumptions; the writing instruction then demonstrates how to add qualifiers so that your assumptions do not weaken your argument. As you work through the study pages and activities, keep a list of the predictable moves you are detecting as reader and aiming for as a writer.