ACTIVE READINGLearning to Read and Remember Lunch and Learn Sponsored by Student Success
READING FOR LEARNINGReading for learning from your texts is a three-step process:1. Ask questions about the headings and figures.2. Read actively by staying engaged in what you are reading, answering the questions you posed, and taking notes as you read.3. Review and rehearse the information so you’ll remember it.
STRATEGIES FOR ACTIVE READINGThe best strategy to help you set and keep your reading purpose isannotating, that is, taking notes in your text.Annotating is the process of writing the key information (such asmajor points, definitions, and examples) in the margins of your text.You are looking for and marking all of the information you will needto remember from your chapters.Because it gives you a purpose, you’ll find that annotation helps youconcentrate while reading and actually helps you learn from the text.
STRATEGIES FOR ACTIVE READINGText Annotation works because it: Gives you a purpose for reading Improves your comprehension Provides an immediate test of your understanding Increases your concentration Keeps you from having to reread the chapters over again Creates a study tool that will help you prepare for exams
THE NUTS AND BOLTS OF ANNOTATION READ BEFORE YOU WRITE Before you annotate, you need to get a sense of what the chapter or section is about. Read at least one paragraph before you write anything down in order to figure out what might be important and get a sense of the big picture. THINK ABOUT THE IDEAS YOU’VE READ If you were going to talk to someone else about the information, what would be important to tell them? This is the material you will annotate. WRITE KEY IDEAS IN THE MARGINS Definitions Examples of the main idea Lists Details or characteristics of the main ideas Names, Dates, Events Cause / Effect or Compare / Contrast Possible test questions Confusing Information REVIEW YOUR WORK Check your annotations to be sure they make sense. If you only had your annotations to study from, would you have enough information? If not, go back and fill in any gaps.
STUDYING YOUR ANNOTATIONS1. Cover up the text. You don’t want to reread entire pages, just your annotations.2. Read your annotations and rehearse the material. Ask yourself questions. Do you understand all the key ideas? Do you understand how all the concepts relate to each other and how they relate to the larger concepts?3. Reread selectively. If you find a section that is not entirely clear to you, uncover the text and reread that section only.4. Test yourself. Once you are comfortable with the material in the text, try to self-test. Look at chapter headings and subheadings. Cover up the text and the annotations then try to say the information to yourself. Once you have tested yourself several times on the information, you may want to compare what you’ve read with the information in your lecture notes. This will help you start to pull the ideas together.
If nothing else, remember these tips: Good readers are active. Active reading means that youare focused on the text and learning as you go. Highlighting your booksdoes not usually lead to reading actively. Annotation encourages active reading. Gone are the days of reading andnot learning. To annotate, you summarize the key ideas of the text in themargins using your own words (a good test of your understanding). Use your annotations to study. Annotations provide a way to testyourself on the information you’ll need to remember for the exam.