Reading Smarter and Faster
Here are some tips for reading smarter and faster.
- Before you begin, skim the text to get an idea of the content. How is it structured? Are there headings and subheadings? Any bold print? Read the first and last paragraphs of the assigned reading. If you do this, you will begin your reading with some knowledge and thus will understand the material better.
- On the first full reading, highlight passages that you believe are important. Write notes in the margins. Physically interact with the text. The notes that you write in the margins are excellent sources for questions to ask in class and for paper topics.
- Do not read the text aloud or say the words to yourself in your head. This dramatically reduces your speed and your comprehension level.
- Do not stop and look up the meaning of every word or concept. This slows your pace and concentration significantly. Chances are if you continue reading you will be able to discern the meaning within the next few lines of the text.
- Immediately after the first reading look back at your highlighting and marginal comments. Also take a few minutes to think about what the author was saying.
- In a journal, write a short summary of the reading and your reactions to it. Doing this will help you analyze what you've just read and remember it better.