Ten Steps to Improving College Reading Skills, 6/e

Ten Steps to Improving College Reading Skills, 6/e

Product details

  • Author: John Langan
  • SKU/ISBN: 978-1-59194-423-2
  • Year: 2014
  • Page count: 652
  • Reading level: 8-12
  • Lexile Level: 1050L
  • Weight: 2.6 lb
  • Availability: In stock
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Often imitated but never equaled, Ten Steps to Improving College Reading Skills remains the best-selling reading textbook on the developmental college market. It is also the most popular book in the Ten Steps college reading series—the choice for the core development reading course at many schools.

More information

Educators, please click here to request a desk copy.

Key Features of the Ten Steps Series

Focus on the basics.  The book is designed to explain, in a clear, step-by-step way, the essential elements of each skill. Many examples are provided to ensure that students understand each point. In general, the focus is on teaching the skills—not just on explaining them and not just on testing them.

Frequent practice and feedback.  Because abundant practice and careful feedback are essential to learning, this book includes numerous activities. Students can get immediate feedback on the practice exercises in Part One by turning to the limited answer key at the back of the book. The answers to the review and mastery tests in Part One, the reading questions in Part Two, and the relationships and combined-skills tests in Part Three are in the Instructor’s Edition and the Instructor's Manual.

High interest level.  Dull and unvaried readings and exercises work against learning. Students need to experience genuine interest and enjoyment in what they read. Teachers as well should be able to take pleasure in the selections, for their own good feeling about them can carry over favorably into class work. The readings in the book, then, have been chosen not only for the appropriateness of their reading level but also for their compelling content. They should engage students and teachers alike.

Ease of use.  The logical sequence in each chapter—from explanation to example to practice to review tests to mastery tests—helps make the skills easy to teach. The book’s organization into distinct parts also makes for ease of use. Within a single class, for instance, instructors  can work on a particular skill in Part One, review another skill with one or more mastery tests, and provide variety by having students read one of the selections in Part Two. The limited answer key at the back of the book also makes for versatility: the teacher can assign parts of some chapters for self-teaching. Finally, the mastery tests—each on its own tear-out page—and the combined-skills tests make it a simple matter for a teacher to test and evaluate student progress.

Integration of skills.  Students do more than learn the skills individually in Part One. They also learn to apply the skills together through the reading selections in Parts One and Two as well as the combined-skills tests in Part Three. They become effective readers and thinkers through repeated practice in applying a combination of skills.

Thinking activities.  Thinking activities—in the form of outlining, mapping, and summarizing—are a distinctive feature of the book. In addition, four discussion questions at the end of each reading selection encourage student reflection, as do the writing activities that are provided for each selection.

Available electronic resources. This text can be purchased with Ten Steps Plus, a subscription-based collection of digital materials including interactive exercises, mastery tests, assessments, bonus readings, instructional videos, eBooks* of the entire Ten Steps Series, and more than 100 Townsend Library titles. Click here to learn more about subscription options, including discounted digital/textbook bundles.

*eBooks are not included with Ten Steps Plus LE (Limited Edition).

Efficacy Report. Results from a study that examined the impact of the Townsend Press Ten Steps Series on students' reading skills in higher education developmental reading courses are available (full reportshort report). This study was conducted by an independent research firm.

Changes in the Sixth Edition

• Enhanced Visuals. Because so many students today are visual learners, numerous cartoons and other graphics have been added to help introduce or illustrate points made in the book.

• Clarity and Friendliness. Exceptional clarity has always been a hallmark of John Langan’s books—in the step-by-step explanations for each skill, in the logically sequenced materials, and even in the care given to the questions and answer choices in the activities. Countless numbers of teachers have praised the friendly and helpful tone of John Langan’s books—a tone that never condescends to students. This revised book is no exception. In addition, the human content of the paragraphs and longer selections will definitely appeal to you and your students.

• Fresh Materials. The book includes four new high-interest readings, and practice materials have been freshened throughout.

• Ten Steps Plus. This is a powerful subscription-based suite of digital resources for your college reading or college readiness program. Ten Steps Plus includes the following: exercises, mastery tests, assessments, and instructional videos; a Skills Bank; a Readings Bank; and eBooks* of the entire Ten Steps Series and more than 100 Townsend Library titles. Note: Students must have a paid subscription to access Ten Steps Plus materials. Click here to learn more about subscription options, including discounted digital/textbook bundles.

• Superior Price and Service. This edition will sell for a net price of $30. College bookstores then typically add 33% for their profit. No competing publisher matches the prices of TP books. Our goal has always been to provide the highest possible quality at the lowest possible price. If you have ever e-mailed or called us, you know we respond to you right away. And orders, including desk copy requests, are typically shipped out on the same day that we receive them. We pride ourselves on prompt, personal service that no competitor can match.

The Ten Steps Reading Series and the Common Core State Standards


Looking for a powerful, effective, Common Core-aligned resource to help you teach reading to your students? With the Ten Steps Series, you’ve got it.

For more than two decades, the Ten Steps Series has helped millions of students learn the reading skills needed for success in the classroom and beyond. Developed to prepare college students for the rigors of college-level reading courses, the Ten Steps Series addresses the competencies and benchmarks outlined in the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for grades 6–12.

The connection between the Common Core and the Ten Steps Series emerges from their shared educational fundamentals. Both draw from practical classroom experience and research in the field of reading. Both focus on the same goal: to empower students to be strong, active, and critical readers. And both, in an effort to achieve this goal, outline a series of foundational skills students need to master. The Ten Steps Series goes one step further; it teaches these skills with a range of print-based and online practice exercises, assignments, readings, and mastery tests . The result has been a hugely successful series of books that have helped millions of college students transition from developmental reading courses into the advanced classes they need for degrees. This same trajectory of success is available now to middle and high school students.

Every one of the six books in the Ten Steps Series covers the CCSS Anchor Standards for Grades 6–12 itemized below, in the following categories: Reading, Writing, Speaking & Listening, and Language.

In addition, all of the books in the Ten Steps Series also fulfill key CCSS benchmarks for the specific grade levels they span. The downloadable Ten Steps Series CCSS Grade-Level Analysis lists the specific CCSS benchmarks, by grade, covered in each of the Ten Steps books.

[1] CCSS Anchor Standards citations are coded as follows: The abbreviation of the instructional strand’s name and then the standard number. So the standard labeled “R.3” indicates the “Reading” strand, standard number three, which is “Analyze how and why individuals, events, and ideas develop and interact over the course of a text.” For a complete listing of the CCSS, please visit www.corestandards.org.


Preface: To the Instructor         

1    How to Become a Better Reader and Thinker     
2    Reading for Pleasure and Power          
3    Some Quick Study Tips      

Ten Steps to Improving College Reading Skills  

1   Vocabulary in Context
        Reading: Night Watch Roy Popkin
        Mastery Tests  

2    Main Ideas 
        Reading: Here’s to Your Health Joan Dunayer 
        Mastery Tests

3   Supporting Details
        Reading: Child-Rearing Styles Diane E. Papalia and Sally Wendkos Olds
        Mastery Tests

4   Implied Main Ideas
        Reading: Rowing the Bus Paul Logan
        Mastery Tests

5    Relationships I
        Reading: Wonder in the Air Jeff Gammage 
        Mastery Tests  

6   Relationships II
        Reading: Students in Shock   John Kellmayer and Alina Wyden
        Mastery Tests

7   Inferences
        Reading: Gender Inequality in the 21st Century  James M. Henslin
        Mastery Tests           

8   Purpose and Tone
        Reading: The Scholarship Jacket Marta Salinas
        Mastery Tests

9    Argument
        Reading: In Praise of the F Word Mary Sherry
        Mastery Tests

10   Critical Reading
        Reading: The 2,000-Year-Old Wonder Drug David B. Angus
        Mastery Tests

Ten Reading Selections

1    The Yellow Ribbon Pete Hamill

2    College Athletes Should be Paid Ann Kaufman

3    Shame Dick Gregory

4    The Bystander Effect Dorothy Barkin

5    Growing Less Dumb Eileen Brenoff

6    Coping with Nervousness Rudolph F. Verderber
7    Compliance Techniques: Getting People to Say Yes Shelley E. Taylor, Letitia
      Anne Peplau, and David O. Sears

8    Lizzie Borden James Kirby Martin and others
9    Nonverbal Communication Anthony F. Grasha

10   The Power Within John Langan

Relationships and Combined-Skills Tests

1. Relationships Tests

2. Combined Skill Tests

      Pronunciation Guide
      Writing Assignments 
      Limited Answer Key

Supplementary Materials

Print Supplement

Like all Ten Steps texts, this edition features an annotated Instructor’s Editionwhich is identical to the student book except that it provides answers to all the practices and tests. In addition, the Instructor's Edition includes useful hints for teachers as well instructive annotation to help scaffold lessons. No other book on the market has such detailed and helpful annotations.

Digital Supplements

1. A downloadable Instructor’s Manual and Test Bank includes suggestions for teaching, a model syllabus, and readability levels for the text and the reading selections. The test bank contains four additional mastery tests for each of the skills chapters in Part I—all on letter-sized sheets so they can be copied easily for use with students. This resource is available to all instructors in the Learning Center

2. Downloadable PowerPoint presentations have been crafted to teach key skills and concepts directly to students. These PowerPoints are available free to instructors in the Learning Center

3. Ten Steps Plus is a powerful subscription-based collection of digital resources for your college reading or college readiness program. Based on the acclaimed pedagogy of the Ten Steps SeriesTen Steps Plus is a digital suite of exercises, mastery tests, assessments, and instructional videos; a Skills Bank; a Readings Bank; and eBooks* of the entire Ten Steps Series and more than 100 Townsend Library titlesNoteStudents must have a paid subscription to access Ten Steps Plus materials.  Click here to learn more about subscription options, including discounted digital/textbook bundles.  

* eBooks are not included with Ten Steps Plus LE (Limited Edition).

To Obtain Supplements


Print supplements can be obtained quickly by calling Townsend Press (1-800-772-6410), by sending a fax on school letterhead to 1-800-225-8894, or by e-mailing Customer Service at cs@townsendpress.comDigital supplements are free to educators with a valid instructor account in the Learning Center. Get yours here