Chrome browser extension (Windows/MacOS/Chromebook)
Actively read, select key points, paraphrase and reduce plagiarism
- Display web pages without distractions
- Adjust text display for optimal reading
- Read the text to get a general understanding
- Go to one or a few paragraphs of particular interest
- Actively re-read that text
- Select key words/phrases as cues for later paraphrasing making use of visual feedback to be selective (these are copied for you in a list which you can shuffle)
- Review your selections and understand how they connect with one another
- Copy and paste selections into your favorite word processor where paraphrasing becomes ‘connect the dots’ and plagiarism is reduced
When reading web pages, you are faced with many visual distractions that interfere with reading. ReaderQ eliminates those distractions, and allows you to adjust the text so you can read more easily and focus on the content.
When using content for an essay or project, students and writers often copy long phrases or several sentences, with minimal reading and understanding, and paste it into a draft document to be re-worked later. How many of us haven’t color highlighted multiple sentences and paragraphs in our textbooks while studying? And, as you attempt to paraphrase the text, you may say to yourself, “I can’t write it any better than how it was written in the first place.”
With ReaderQ, you are encouraged to first actively read and understand the content before selecting words or phrases as cues. Then you identify key points, which ReaderQ places limits on how many words you can select together, and in a sentence, paragraph and document. Visual feedback informs you when you select too much. You then focus on understanding the relationships between the points (not necessarily all points).
Selected points are displayed on the right-hand side where you can shuffle them or click to move the text to where that point was highlighted. When copied and pasted into your favorite word processor, paraphrasing becomes ‘connect the dots’ with your own words. This reduces the potential for plagiarism.
Teachers can use ReaderQ to teach students how to pull out key words/phrases from text, how to paraphrase, and how not to plagiarize. Students and writers can use it to reinforce a strategy where paraphrasing is faster and easier. This applies to both writing and studying. The restrictive selection feedback in ReaderQ is a constant reminder to actively read, focus and understand.
How does ReaderQ work?
- Go to a web page that you want as a reference.
- Click on the ReaderQ icon on the Chrome browser toolbar.
- A simplified reading view of the page is displayed where you can adjust the look to your pleasing.
- Read the text. If you have difficulty reading, click the button to toggle into a Read Aloud mode and click on sentences or drag across paragraphs to be spoken. Click the button again when done to start selecting text .
- Identify a section of text that you want to use. Read it carefully again. (There are no shortcuts to reading.)
- Begin selecting key words/phrases that will form cues to remember important thoughts. ReaderQ has two selection methods, chosen under the Options menu – select specific words/phrases or let ReaderQ select short phrases with a single click.
Now, ReaderQ starts applying rules to limit how much you can select.
- Allowable words/phrases are highlighted in green.
- If you try to select too many words together the unallowable words are highlighted in red.
- If you try to select too many words in a sentence, that sentence will be highlighted in gray.
- If you try to select too many words in a paragraph, that paragraph will be highlighted in gray.
- If you try to select too many words in a document, the entire document will be highlighted in gray.
- As you successfully select words/phrases they are copied into a list on the right-hand side. You can re-order these words/phrases at any time by dragging an item up or down. Clicking an item brings that word/phrase into view in the document. You can edit the title of the list at any time.
- When done, click the Copy button.
- Go to your favorite writing editor, such as Google Docs or WordQ for Chrome, and paste the ReaderQ cues. Note that it includes a reference to the source.
- Look at the list of cues. Now start connecting them together in writing using your own words and sentence structure (‘connect the dots’). You don’t have to use all the words/phrases, or use them exactly as written. You will find it is easier to paraphrase in your own words when you are not re-writing someone else’s sentences. A suggestion is to use speech dictation at this point to quickly get down your thoughts when the reference text is fresh in your mind and you have cues to help you remember the key ideas. You can always re-read the reference text, but try not to have it visible when writing in your own words.
- Remember, you must cite the source.
Reading and selecting from PDF and non-web documents
- ReaderQ does not automatically open PDF and non-web documents for selecting text and reading aloud. Instead, it allows you to paste in text that has been copied to the clipboard.
- Depending on how a PDF has been created, there may be line breaks at the end of each line, or unusual embedded PDF characters.
- Graphic PDF text cannot by copied and pasted.
- When clicking on ReaderQ if the web page is a PDF, you will be shown a blank page with the message “Paste your text here …”
- If you have not yet copied any text from the PDF, temporarily close ReaderQ , select and copy desired text, then choose ReaderQ again, and paste in your text. The next time, copy PDF text first.
- Use ReaderQ as described above.
- When using ReaderQ on any web page, you can also click the button to paste text copied from anywhere.