Reading College Textbooks


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Reading College Textbooks

  1. 1. How to make yourreading skills work for you
  2. 2.  Use it to avoid empty reading— reading, then realizing that no information has come across. Identify yourself completely in what the author is trying to say: throw yourself into his mind! Focus on identifying the main ideas and on understanding how supporting points reinforce those ideas. Review the material from each chapter at least once a week.
  3. 3.  Scan the material to see what lies ahead. Consider the context for the assignment. Consider the length of the reading assignment and estimate how long it will take. Consider the structure and features of the reading to help you digest the material. Consider the difficulty and plan your time accordingly.
  4. 4.  Visual guide Skimming first helps you see how the chapters fit together The “wheel structure” Branching map Outline format Lists, or chunking Flash cards
  5. 5.  Skimming covers the content at a general level. It involves reading at about twice your normal rate. Focuses on introductory statements, topic sentences and boldface terms. Provides the chance for you to see what kind of information the assignment contains Enables you to gather the surface ideas if you don’t have enough time to read deeply.
  6. 6.  Review to remember the main points of the material. Test yourself on your comprehension. Some ways to review:  notes  study questions  flash cards  visual maps  outlines Make reviewing ever y week a study goal.
  7. 7.  Read the preface, for ward, and introduction to the book  It will tell you why they wrote it and what material it covers Some books have questions at the end of each chapter  Use these in your study guide If the book doesn’t provide enough detail, go to the primar y source
  8. 8. Primary Secondary SourceSource
  9. 9.  College reading takes a great deal of concentration. Schedule time to read in a place where you won’t be interrupted. Find an environment in which you can concentrate best. If you must read in a noisy environment, consider wearing headphones with familiar instrumental music just loud enough to block distractions.
  10. 10.  Find a quiet study location. Read in 50-minute blocks with breaks in between. Take notes, recite key ideas or jot down questions in the margins. Experiment with your reading rate. Focus on key issues in the text.
  11. 11.  Consider the context around new and challenging words. Jot down unfamiliar terms and find the meaning using a dictionary. Analyze terms to discover the most meaningful part of the word. Take the opportunity to use new terms in your writing and speaking.
  12. 12.  Read slowly Read things more than once Have two good dictionaries  One in English  One that links English to your primary language Look up every word you don’t know Practice thinking, writing, and speaking in English
  13. 13.  Instructors do NOT always cover the reading material in lecture. You are expected to read the material and understand it on your own. Successful students complete assigned readings before class to help them understand the lecture. Connections and overlaps between lecture and reading reinforce learning. Also, reading ahead prevents you from being embarrassed when you are called on to discuss what you’ve read!
  14. 14.  Practice a positive attitude. Make the author your companion. Pace yourself according to difficulty level. Take breaks to restore concentration.