A Community of Readers: A Thematic Approach to Reading, 7th Edition

  • Roberta Alexander San Diego City College
  • Jan Jarrell San Diego City College
  • ISBN-10: 1305109643  |  ISBN-13: 9781305109643
  • 512 Pages
  • Previous Editions: 2013, 2010, 2007
  • © 2016 | Published
  • List Price = $ 138.95
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  • For single copy purchases, visit



A COMMUNITY OF READERS: A THEMATIC APPROACH TO READING, 7th Edition, helps developing readers engage in all steps of the reading and learning process: reading, discussing and reflecting, writing, and critical thinking. Using the unique PRO system—Prepare to Read, Read actively and reflect, and Organize to learn—students develop and follow a concrete learning process that helps them examine fact and opinion, understand bias, think critically, write effectively, and much more. Each chapter focuses on a theme, helping emerging readers develop schema, and also introduces a key reading skill such as identifying main ideas or understanding inferences. The second of two books in series, A COMMUNITY OF READERS: A THEMATIC APPROACH TO READING has been fully updated with new full-length readings, a variety of new visual aids, and a revised Reader’s Toolkit for self-testing and improving reading skills.

Features and Benefits

  • Compelling Themes: The book’s thematic approach allows students focus on a single topic and explore complex material from different viewpoints, while dynamic introductions draw students into the chapter theme with intriguing visuals and provocative questions.
  • Writing Connections: Writing exercises and “Write About It” sections show where reading and writing intersect in learning, each skill influencing the other.
  • Boxed Features: Woven into every chapter, boxed features such as “Reader's Tips,” “Put It Together” charts, and easy-to-find vocabulary words and definitions help students comprehend material at a glance.
  • Web Activities: Web links in every chapter and how-to discussions on evaluating and navigating websites give students an edge in research for freshman composition and courses in other disciplines.
  • Skills Mastery: Multiple self-tests throughout the book afford students the opportunity to challenge themselves on skills and concepts, and can be used by instructors as reviews, pre-tests, or post-tests.

Table of Contents

1. The Reading Process: Joining a Community of Readers.
2. Working with Words: Living with Technology.
3. Topics and Main Ideas: Our Food, Our Culture.
4. Support for Main Ideas: Staying Well.
5. Patterns of Organization: Where We Live, Our Communities.
6. Inferences and Reading Literature: Dealing with Gender.
7. Facts and Opinions: Living in a Diverse Society.
8. Critical Thinking: Crime and Punishment.
1. Reading Visual Aids.
2. Note Taking: The Cornell Note-Taking System.
3. Test Taking.
4. Writing Tips for Readers.
5. Evaluating and Navigating Websites.
6. Reader Response Journals.
7. Reading Circles.
8. Poster Sessions.
9. Suggested Reading for Book Projects.

What's New

  • Fresh Content: The Seventh Edition includes many new instructional paragraphs, visual aids and nine all-new, full-length reading selections by engaging, contemporary essayists and textbook authors.
  • Interactive Learning: New! The Aplia online homework solution gives students more hands-on practice to help them understand concepts at greater depth, while giving instructors a hand with grading.
  • More Skills Help: New visual aids in the Reader’s Toolkit incorporate fresh data and engaging infographics. The toolkit allows students to study independently and self-test for stronger skill development. “Reading Visual Aids” instruction is integrated throughout the text and highlighted in a condensed, updated section.
  • New “EQ” Focus: Several of the new reading passages included focus on emotional intelligence which helps readers see the importance this skill plays in learning and interpersonal relationships.

Learning Resource Bundles

Choose the textbook packaged with the resources that best meet your course and student needs. Contact your Learning Consultant for more information.

Bundle: Text + Aplia no eBook Printed Access Card

ISBN-10: 1305596803  | ISBN-13: 9781305596801

List Price = $151.95

Bundle: Text + LMS Integrated for Aplia™, 1 term Printed Access Card

ISBN-10:  1305596811  | ISBN-13:  9781305596818

List Price = $151.95

Printed Text + Aplia no eBook, 1 term (6 months) Instant Access

ISBN-10:  1305709268  | ISBN-13:  9781305709263

List Price = $151.95  | CengageBrain Price = $151.95

Printed Text + LMS Integrated for Aplia™, 1 term Instant Access

ISBN-10:  1305709276 | ISBN-13:  9781305709270

List Price = $151.95  | CengageBrain Price = $151.95

Efficacy and Outcomes


"I like the thematic chapters - I think the examples and structure of the book is the best I've seen. Periodically I look at the texts which are something like “skills for critical reading” but I find the structure better in this one. My favorite part is at the end of the vocabulary section where students are reminded they don't need to look up words. Throughout the text, there's a realistic bent to the content. So I can usually follow it up by saying, let's face it....and we can talk about real things that students do. I also love the note-taking chapter (chapter 4). It stresses that students are unique and I encourage that."

— Michelle Cristiani, Portland Community College

"I especially like having a variety of readings to select from in each chapter, as well as having various practice exercises in each chapter. The reading topics are very interesting and deal with many current issues as well being presented at a level that is appropriate level for college students in developmental reading classes. Having a theme for each chapter brings cohesiveness to all the work in each chapter."

— Cynthia Edwards, Montgomery College


All supplements have been updated in coordination with the main title. Select the main title's "About" tab, then select "What's New" for updates specific to title's edition.

For more information about these supplements, or to obtain them, contact your Learning Consultant.

Instructor Supplements

Instructor’s Web Site (Instructor’s Manual with Test Bank, PowerPoint®)  (ISBN-10: 1305393090 | ISBN-13: 9781305393097)

Log on to the password-protected site to access a wide range of resources such as electronic versions of the instructor’s manual, solutions manual, eLectures, PowerPoint® slides, extra test questions, and more.

Aplia™ (No eBook), 1 term Instant Access  (ISBN-10: 1305393198 | ISBN-13: 9781305393196)

List Price = $45.00  | CengageBrain Price = $45.00  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $45.00

LMS Integrated for Aplia™, 1 term (6 months) Instant Access  (ISBN-10: 130539321X | ISBN-13: 9781305393219)

List Price = $45.00  | CengageBrain Price = $45.00  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $45.00

Student Supplements

Aplia™ (No eBook), 1 term Instant Access  (ISBN-10: 1305393198 | ISBN-13: 9781305393196)

List Price = $45.00  | CengageBrain Price = $45.00  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $45.00

LMS Integrated for Aplia™, 1 term (6 months) Instant Access  (ISBN-10: 130539321X | ISBN-13: 9781305393219)

List Price = $45.00  | CengageBrain Price = $45.00  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $45.00

Meet the Author

Author Bio

Roberta Alexander

Dr. Roberta Alexander is Professor Emeritus at San Diego City College. She has taught Reading, Composition, Literature, Chicano Studies, and Black Studies as well as English as a Second Language courses for the San Diego Community College District since 1974. Formerly the Department Chair of English, Chair of Chairs, and Academic Senate President, she now focuses on teaching and writing. She is the author of a series of college reading textbooks. Dr. Alexander earned her BA in Spanish Literature from University of California, Berkeley and her PhD in Comparative Literature from University of California, San Diego.

Jan Jarrell

Jan Jarrell is the ESOL coordinator at San Diego City College. She has taught English as a Second Language, Reading, and Composition courses in both the credit and noncredit divisions of the San Diego City College District since 1989. She has held a number of leadership positions including Department Chair and Interim Associate Dean in the noncredit division, and Basic Skills Coordinator.