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Textbook reading strategies

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Textbook reading strategies

  1. 1. EffectiveTextbookReading Strategies<br />How to read textbooks and like it!!<br />by: Randall Cooper, Adjunct Instructor<br />Cleveland Community College<br />Shelby, NC<br />Really?<br />
  2. 2. It’s not Rocket Science,<br />or Molecular Biology,<br />and we’re not reading Proust.<br />
  3. 3. Reading textbooks successfully, however, does require some thought and skill. <br />After all, there is reading…<br />
  4. 4. and then, there is reading.<br />The secret is to recognize the difference and adjust accordingly<br />
  5. 5. The secret to success when it comes to reading textbooks is a concept called “Active Reading<br />Passive<br />Active<br />Get the Picture?<br />
  6. 6. The question is, “How do I become an active reader so that my mind stays focused and doesn’t go <br />“wool-gathering”?<br />I’m really glad you asked that question!!<br />
  7. 7. It’s helpful to think about reading as a process just like you have learned to think of writing as a process (hopefully). <br />The reading process has 3 important steps:<br /><ul><li>Pre-reading
  8. 8. Reading
  9. 9. Review</li></ul>DUH!! <br />Like I said, it’s not rocket science<br />
  10. 10. <ul><li>Pre-Reading</li></ul>Before you begin reading a chapter from your textbook, take time to get to know it. Look at the Table of Contents. A lot of times, there is both a brief table and a detailed table. <br /><ul><li>Glance at the Brief Table of Contents. This will give you “just the facts.” Usually, just the titles of chapters are listed. This will give you an idea of where the chapter you are reading fits into the picture.</li></li></ul><li><ul><li>Pre-Reading
  11. 11. Now, take a look at the Detailed Table of Contents. This will give you probably more information than you want, so just concentrate on the chapter you are going to read. Notice how the information in the chapter fits together. Notice, also, that here you can easily see the important words and concepts about which you will be reading.</li></li></ul><li><ul><li>Pre-Reading
  12. 12. As you look at the information about your chapter, ask yourself the following:</li></ul>How familiar am I with this information?<br />Not at all?<br />Some?<br />Very?<br />What do I know that I can connect with this information? (Making personal connections is a major part of Active Reading).<br />
  13. 13. <ul><li>Pre-Reading</li></ul>How difficult will this material be to understand?<br />Not difficult (I can read faster)<br />Medium difficult (I will need more time)<br />Difficult (I will have to read slow and concentrate more)<br />This seems like it will take a lot of time that could be spent reading, but it really only takes a few minutes. Your brain will thank you for taking the time to engage it in the process, and you will notice that your mind will be a lot more cooperative in the learning process.<br />
  14. 14. <ul><li>Reading</li></ul>There are 2 main strategies to use while reading. These will help you continue to keep your mind engaged with your reading.<br />Annotate instead of Highlight. Many people underline and highlight, but this takes no effort from your mind. It’s better to write comments in the margin (annotations), or use some kind of coding system to code the text. These keep your mind involved while you re reading.<br />
  15. 15. <ul><li>Reading</li></ul>Take Notes or Outline (Double-Entry Journal). You will need some paper for this step. I know people who use outlining (keep an outline of important points on a separate sheet of paper) and get a lot of help from it. Personally, the most helpful note taking technique for me is to keep a double-entry journal (see next slide). Whatever you do, the point is to keep your eye on the forest while you are walking through the trees.<br />
  16. 16. <ul><li>Reading</li></ul>Continued: Double-Entry Journal– Divide your paper into 2 columns. Title the left column something like “I observe…” and the right column something like “I wonder….” In the left column, make notes about things from your reading that stand out to you. Write down enough information that you can go back and find the passage. Read the entire passage making notes of important passages as you go.<br />
  17. 17. <ul><li>Post-Reading</li></ul>When you finish reading the chapter, go back and look at the passages listed in the left column of your double-entry journal. Take a few minutes to write in the right column next to each entry questions or comments you have about each entry. If you didn’t keep a double-entry journal, go back and review whatever notes and annotations you made.<br />
  18. 18. <ul><li>Post-Reading</li></ul>Try to make connections between what you read and your personal experience. It’s helpful to either free-write about it, or make and image map (clusters, bubbles, whatever you learned to call it). The point is that you actively engage your mind with the material you read. This will aid both retention and comprehesion.<br />
  19. 19. Last Step: Like It!!<br />I don’t know if you will “like it” at this point, but I hope that you will at least notice an improvement in<br />your understanding and comprehension of what you read.<br />

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