Pay attention when you read and read as if it really matters. Most people
read in the same way that they watch television, i.e. in an inattentive, passive
way. Reading takes effort and you must make the effort. A wise teacher once told
me that you can learn anything if you do three things:
PAY ATTENTION and
There are some simple methods that you can use to pay better attention and
get more out of your textbook reading time. Different authors call it different
things, but many researchers say that you will improve your comprehension if you
somehow "preview" the passage before you actually sit down and read every word.
To do a preview you:
You might not think that you could possibly answer these questions with so
little exposure to the material, but if you do the preview correctly, you should
have some very good general ideas. If you have a general idea of what the
passage is about before you really read it, you will be able to understand and
remember the passage better.
- take 30 to 60 seconds.
- look over the title of the chapter.
- look at all the headings, subheadings and marked, italic or dark print.
- look at any pictures or illustrations, charts or graphs.
- quickly skim over the passage, reading the first and last paragraph and
glancing at the first sentence of every other paragraph.
- close the book and ask yourself:
- ---What is the main idea?
- ---What kind of writing is it?
- ---What is the author's purpose?
When you finally get to the point where you are actually slowly reading the
passage, read in a "questioning" manner -as if you were seaching for something.
It sometimes helps if you take the heading or title of a chapter and turn it
into a question.
For example, if the heading of a section in the text is "The Causes of the
Civil War", take that title and switch it into a question like: "What are the
causes of the Civil War?". Now you have a goal; something to look for; something
to find out. When you are goal-oriented, you are more likely to reach the goal.
At least you'll remember one thing about the text which you have just read.