There is no difference between reading
fiction and non-fiction.
More difficult than fiction
Different text features and structure
Different reading strategies
How does a text book look different?
Use bold, italics, vocabulary lists, key
words, boxes, pictures, graphic organizers
Read with a purpose
What questions are you trying to answer?
Reading fiction is like watching a movie.
Nonfiction is more like a newscast or
watching a slide show.
When reading a text book, you have
to read every single word.
Non-fiction reading is reading to learn
What do you want to learn?
Use text features to distinguish important
from unimportant information
Look for key ideas
Skim and scan
Read quickly to get general idea (skim) and
look for one thing in particular (scan)
Never skip passages when reading
Skim titles, key words, bold-faced words
Skim picture captions, boxes highlighed
Scan timelines, graphs, charts
Skim introductions and headings to get
clues about main ideas
Know what information you are looking
Usually once = not enough
Skim once quickly to determine main
idea of passage
Identify parts need more careful reading
Re-read only those sections
Good reading is selective reading!
What am I looking for?
What sections are relevant?
If you skim or read too quickly, your
reading comprehension will
Harvard Report: experiment, Dr. Perry
(psychologist), Director of the Harvard Reading-
1500 1st year students
30-page chapter from a history book to read
20 min. and write essay on what they had read
Only 15 students could write short statement about
what they had read
Only 15 skimmed and got to the end to read the part
Ask yourself what information you need to get out of
a reading assignment, then look for those points.
The faster you read, the less you
Research shows no connection between
reading speed and comprehension
Reading comprehension depends on
your ability identify important information
Focus on purpose for reading (e.g.:
locate important main ideas and details)
Research shows that reading quickly
can also increase comprehension
Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at an Elingsh
uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht
oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny
iprmoetnt tihng is taht frist and lsat tteer
is at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a
toatl mses and you can sitll raed it
wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae we
do not raed ervey lteter by itslef but the
wrod as a wlohe.
Moral of the Story
Reading non-fiction requires different skills
Good readers read with a purpose
Know what you are looking for
Good reader locate information
Distinguish between relevant and irrelevant
Identify main ideas and supporting details
Use non-fiction text features