Study Reading

Reading brings knowledge and knowledge is power

Studying can be time-consuming. The amount of reading, for instance, can sometimes seem daunting and impossible, especially if you are not a fast reader. When students feel they are getting behind with their reading, it is often because their reading technique is not the most suitable for the given purpose.

Study reading

WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO READ?

Do you spend a lot of time reading texts, or do you have difficulty gaining an overview of all the sections and messages of the text? If so, you may be going about your study reading in the wrong way.

When it comes to study reading, it is always important to remember that different types of text require different reading techniques.

As a starting point, study reading is markedly different from reading a crime story or an article from a newspaper. You read the story from start to finish, but when it comes to study-related material, it is often necessary to prioritise. You can improve your study-related reading if you learn to adjust your reading to the text in your hand. It is a good idea to divide the reading process into three phases: pre-reading, while reading and post-reading.

"CONSIDER YOUR READING STRATEGY EVERY TIME YOU READ A NEW TEXT"

"DIFFERENT TYPES OF TEXT REQUIRE DIFFERENT READING TECHNIQUES"

"DIVIDE YOUR READING INTO PRE-READING, WHILE READING AND POST-READING"

PRE-READING

WHAT SHOULD I DO BEFORE I START READING?

It is always a good idea to familiarise yourself with the text before you start reading. By means of a so-called pre-reading, you form a general view of the text while reflecting on your own purpose with the text.

If you start reading a text without having done a pre-reading, and without knowing why you are reading it, you risk becoming unfocused or losing your motivation!

A pre-reading means looking at the front and the back of the book, the table of contents, illustrations, headlines, graphics, images and the like. This will activate your previous knowledge and help you assess the relevance of the text. In addition, a pre-reading will also enable you to determine the complexity of the text and, consequently, which reading technique you should use.

"WHAT DO YOU NEED TO GAIN FROM THE TEXT? HOW THOROUGHLY SHOULD IT BE READ?"

"LOOK AT THE FRONT, BACK AND TABLE OF CONTENTS"

"ACTIVATE YOUR PREVIOUS KNOWLEDGE. WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT THE SUBJECT ALREADY?"

While reading

WHAT DO I DO WHILE I AM READING?

Not all study-related texts need to be read in detail. It is therefore important that you can vary your reading techniques. After a pre-reading, it is easier for you to assess the type of text you are dealing with and which reading technique to use. Should your text be read in a normal way, intensively, or can you just skim it?

Skimming is obvious when you need an overview of a comprehensive subject or a specific piece of information in a text. When you skim a text, it is very useful to focus on the introduction and the conclusion. This is often where you get the essence of the text.

However, if the text is very complex, intensive reading may be required to ensure that you get all the details and explanations. Remember that you can easily switch between reading techniques in the same text!

"CAN YOU JUST SKIM THE TEXT, OR DO YOU ALSO NEED TO READ CERTAIN PASSAGES MORE INTENSIVELY?"

"READ FROM THE OUTSIDE AND IN - START WITH THE INTRODUCTION AND THE CONCLUSION"

"READ KEY PASSAGES THOROUGHLY AND TAKE NOTES AT THE SAME TIME"

Post reading

DO I HAVE TO DO ANYTHING AFTER HAVING READ THE TEXT?

After having read the text, it is always a good idea to spend a few minutes to reflect on what you have read. Think about what you have learned and understood. Ask yourself if you have understood the overall messages and key concepts of the text. If not, it may be a good idea to read the text again. It is important that you seek answers to the things you are in doubt about – ask your study group or the teacher for help.

If it is a slightly more difficult text with many important concepts and keywords, you may write a brief summary or make a mind map after having read the text. This is one way to ensure that you remember what you have just read.

"ASK QUESTIONS ABOUT THE TEXT AFTER READING IT. DID YOU UNDERSTAND IT ALL?"

"SEEK ANSWERS TO THINGS YOU ARE WONDERING ABOUT IN THE TEXT"

"YOU MAY ALSO WRITE A SHORT SUMMARY OF THE TEXT OR DRAW A MIND MAP"

SPEED READING

HOW DO I BECOME A FAST READER?

If you read too slowly, it may affect your understanding because you easily lose your overview and motivation.

Fortunately, your reading speed can be improved. It requires, however, that you are dedicated and spend time practicing and reading on a daily basis. It may be a good idea to train yourself to read large stretches of text at a time instead of focusing on the individual words. Also, try to avoid re-reading a paragraph, but trust that you understand the big picture. Finally, you should try to silence the voice in your head that reads along– even if it is difficult.

Please remember that not all texts are suitable for speed reading and that it may be an idea to use easy texts to train speed reading at intervals.

"TEST YOUR READING SPEED TO ASSESS YOUR POTENTIAL FOR IMPROVEMENT"

"TRAINING YOUR READING SPEED REQUIRES PATIENCE AND HARD WORK"

"VARY YOUR READING SPEED AND TRAIN SPEED READING AT INTERVALS"

Links

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BOOKS

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