purpose of previewing is to get the “big Picture,” to understand how what you are about to read is connected to
what you already know and to the material the instructor is covering in class.
at the Title of the Chapter. Ask yourself, “What do I already know about
this subject, if anything”?
look at the introductory paragraphs, then read the summary at the beginning of ending of the chapter (usually there is one
at either of these places).
Mapping the chapter
as you preview it provides a visual guide to how different chapter ideas fit together.
Because about 75 percent of students identify themselves as visual learners, visual mapping is an excellent learning
tool for test preparation as well as reading.
examples of mapping given in your test are:
· Wheel Map (In wheel mapping, place the central idea of the chapter in the circle. Place secondary ideas on the spokes emanating from the circle, and place offshoots
of those ideas on the lines attached to the spokes.
Branching Map (In branch mapping, the
main idea goes at the top, followed by supporting ideas on the second tier, and so forth.
See example below.
MARKING YOUR TEXTBOOK
of us like to mark our text as a means of denoting things that have been discussed and that may be important to remember.
students underline, some prefer to highlight, and others use margin notes or annotations.
matter what method you prefer, remember these two important guidelines:
· Read before you mark
· Think before you mark
READING TO QUESTION, TO INTERPRET, TO UNDERSTAND
of your reason for reading, the important thing is to monitor your comprehension of what is being read. As you read ask yourself, “Do I understand this”? If
not, stop and reread the material. Look up words that are not clear.
when good readers come to a sentence that is difficult or confusing, they slow down and reread the sentence or, if necessary
the whole paragraph. Poor readers tend to read at their same speed for both easy
and difficult materials. For obvious reason, poor readers are less likely to
understand what they have read.
RECYCLE YOUR READING
After you have read and marked or taken notes on key ideas from a section, proceed to the next sequent
session until you have finished the chapter.
After you have finished one section and before you move on to the next section - ask again, “what was the key ideas? From this information what might I see on a test”?
final step in effective textbook reading is reviewing. Many students expect the
improbable - that they will read through their text material one time and be able to remember the ideas four, six, or
even twelve weeks later at test time. “WRONG”
More realistically, you will need to include regular reviews in you study process. Here is where your notes, study questions, annotations, flash card, visual maps, or outlines will
be most useful.
Your goal should be to have in place a procedure that will allow you to review the materials from each
chapter every week that does not require you to reread all the chapters in its entirety again.
ADJUSTING YOUR READING STYLE
With effort, you can improve your reading dramatically, but remember to be flexible. How you should read depend on the material. Assess the relative
importance and difficulty of the assigned readings.
Connect one important idea to another by asking yourself, “Why am I reading this? Where does it fit in”?
It takes a planned approach to read textbook materials and other assigned readings with good understanding
and recall. With the correct approach, you can be successful.
DEVELOPING YOUR VOCABULARY
Textbooks are full of new terminology. In fact, one could
argue that learning a discipline (whatever the discipline might be) is largely a matter of learning the language and mastering
the terminology of that discipline.
If words are such a basic and essential component of our knowledge, what is the best way to learn them?
Here are a few basic vocabulary building strategies:
During your overview of the chapter, notice
and jot down unfamiliar terms.
When you encounter challenging words, consider
the context. See if you can predict the meaning of an unfamiliar term using the
If context itself is not enough, try analyzing
the term to discover the root, or base part, or other meaningful parts of the word.
For example, emissary has the root “to emit” or “to send forth,” so we can guess that an emissary
is someone sent forth with a message. Similarly, note prefixes and suffixes. For example, anti- means “against” and pro – means “for”.
Use the glossary of this text, a dictionary
to locate definitions.
Take every opportunity to use the new terms
in you writing and speaking. If you use the new term, then you’ll know
TOGETHER: Thinking Back to High School:
As a group discuss and write down the reading methods that worked best for most of you in high school. Be prepared to share that selected method with the class as a leading-in to discussing how reading in college
differs from reading in high school.