how to read and understand textbooks

7 Tips for How to Read Faster (and Still Understand What You Read)

The basics: Multiply the number of pages you have to read by 5 minutes. That is the amount of time the average college student needs to spend on their reading Divide the reading into page chunks. The system described below should be done on the page chunk before you move to the next set of. Apr 16,  · Reading Actively. 1. Read the end of the chapter first. That's right. Go to the end of the chapter, and read the summary and the questions that are there. This is the 2. Divide your assignment into 10 page chunks. After each chunk, go back and look at your highlights, your margin notes, and your 95%(49).

This article was co-authored by Emily Listmann, MA. Emily Listmann is a private tutor in San Carlos, California. This article has been viewedtimes. Do you get to the bottom of a page and realize you've been daydreaming? It happens to everybody at some point or another: how to start an online literary magazine got too little time or too little interest to spend another minute with Homer or Shakespeare.

Fortunately, learning to read smartly and take good notes will make the reading a whole lot easier, faster, and much more fun. See Step 1 how to tell which generation ipad more information. Tip: Make reading fun by getting yourself a snack or a drink and getting comfortable. Burn a nice-smelling candle or read in the tub to make yourself as comfortable, and make reading as enjoyable as possible, especially if it's not something you're excited about reading.

If you how to read and understand textbooks to understand what you read, highlight or underline questions or important ideas as you go through the text. As you read each page, stop at the bottom and write a sentence or two that summarizes what you've read. You can also write down questions as you read so you can go back to them later. Finally, try to capture your immediate reactions to what you've read as soon as you're done, since this will help you remember what you've read whats the catcher in the rye about on.

For more tips on understanding what you read, including how to read out loud and picture what you're reading, scroll down! Did this summary help you? Yes No. Log in Social login does not work in incognito and private browsers. Please log in with your username or email to continue. No account yet?

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Eliminate distractions. Get off the computer, turn off the TV, and cut out the music. It's very difficult to read, especially if you're reading something difficult when your attention is divided. Reading closely means you have to find a nice, comfortable location that's distraction-free. Skim first and then read closely. If you're reading something difficult, don't worry too much about spoiling the ending for yourself. If you read a paragraph and have to start the paragraph over, consider skimming over the whole story, or flipping through the book somewhat to get a sense of the plot, the main characters, and the tone of the reading, so you'll know what to focus on as you read more closely.

Just don't forget to go back and read through more closely. Picture what you're reading. Think of yourself as a movie director and picture the action while you're how to eliminate room odors it.

Cast the movie with actors, if it helps, and really try to picture the events as realistically as possible. This can be a lot more fun, and it will help you remember and understand what you are reading a lot better. Read out loud. Some people find it much easier to stay focused and interested in what they're reading by reading out loud.

Lock yourself in your room, or hide in the basement and read as dramatically as you want. This can help slow you down if your tendency is to try to skim too quickly, and it can help make the reading more dramatic if you find it somewhat boring. Reading The Odyssey becomes a much more awesome experience when you invoke the muse aloud. Look up any words, locations, or ideas you don't recognize.

You can use context clues to help you figure out things by yourself, but it's always a good idea to take a minute to learn any references you might not have gotten the first time. It'll make the reading much easier. In school, having looked up an unfamiliar word or concept will always win you bonus points. It's a good thing to get in the habit of doing. Take breaks. Make sure you save enough time to do your reading so you can complete it comfortably and take frequent breaks.

For every 45 minutes of reading you do, let yourself relax for 15 minutes or do some other kind of homework, to give your mind a rest and let yourself focus what is autoconfiguration ip address other things for a while.

When you're ready, come back fresh and excited to get back to the story. Part 2 of Mark up the text. Write questions in the margin, underline things you think are interesting, highlight important concepts or ideas. Don't be afraid to make lots of marks on your text as you read.

Some readers find that holding a pencil or highlighter makes them a more active reader, giving them something to "do" while doing the task. See if it works for you. It won't help you to go back through and study if you've just highlighted randomly, and it'll make your text a lot more difficult to go back through. Make a character or plot map to help you follow along with your reading and to help you study later.

This really helps with with visual learners. Write a few sentences of summary at the bottom of each page. If you're reading something difficult and find yourself often wanting to go back to get something you missed, start taking it one page at a time. At the end of each page, or even at the end of each paragraph, write a brief summary of what happened on that page. This'll break up the reading and allow you to go through it with much more careful attention.

Write down questions that you have about what you read. If you find something confusing, or you notice something that's giving you difficulty, always write it down.

This might give you a good what to do in suzhou to ask later in class, or give you something to think more about as you continue reading. Write your reaction. When you finish reading, immediately start writing down your reactions to the story, the book, or the chapter from the book you needed to read. Write about what seems important, what you think the purpose of the writing was, and how it made you feel as a reader.

You don't need to summarize it for a response, but you might find it helpful to summarize in general if it will help you remember what you've read more. Don't write whether or not you liked the story, or whether you thought it was "boring. Your first response might be, "I didn't like this story, because Juliet dies at the end," but think about why you feel that way.

Why would it have been better if she had lived? Would it have? What might Shakespeare have been trying to say? Why did he kill her off? This is a much more interesting reaction now. Part 3 of Get together with friends or classmates and discuss the reading. It's not cheating to discuss what you've read about before or after class. In fact, most teachers would probably be thrilled. Get your classmates reactions and compare them to your own.

Again, try not to talk about whether or not it was "boring," but see if anyone has a good explanation of something you might've found difficult or confusing.

Offer your own reading expertise to help your friends. Just the act of speaking can help you learn. Think of open-ended questions to explore the reading. Write down some questions in your notebook that might make how to read and understand textbooks discussion questions to bring up in class. Some teachers will make this an assignment, but it will help you to engage with your reading anyway. These encourage deeper thinking. Mark important pages with post-it notes.

If you have a question later, it can help if you've got the page you want to talk about or ask a question about marked already, rather than having to spend ten minutes trying to remember where Polonius' big line was.


The best way to retain information from textbooks is to (1) read aloud and (2) discuss what you've read with other people. Reciting text information moves it from your short-term to long-term memory and ensures subject mastery. Jan 14,  · To read your textbooks more effectively, try to do these things: Concentrate on reading efficiently Stay away from your phone or other devices that might cause a disturbance. Try to use reading techniques such as Pomodoro, which helps you maximize your concentration. Dec 31,  · Look at what you need to learn and plan out the areas you need to study up on. If you can only spend 30 minutes of your day reading a portion of the textbook then that is 30 minutes more of the chapter you have read. Look at your notes and write out the key areas you need to look at from the textbook.

Last Updated: September 3, References Approved. This article was co-authored by Michelle Golden, PhD. Michelle Golden is an English teacher in Athens, Georgia. There are 10 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 74, times. Reading a textbook can often feel like a daunting task. The language can be dry and there can be many unknown words and phrases.

You may feel overwhelmed by the very number of pages that you have been assigned to read. However, there are ways that you can become more comfortable with your textbook and more confident in reading it. Before you begin reading, take a few minutes and look over your textbook, paying attention to the cover, table of contents, and index. Try to get a sense of the book's main topics and how it is organized.

When tackling assigned reading, break up your reading into page chunks and plan to read for no more than 1 hour at a time. As you read, take notes on main ideas. Go back and highlight important phrases after deciding which keywords or phrases are important. For more on developing strong studying habits from our reviewer, keep scrolling!

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Related Articles. Article Summary. Part 1 of Look at the cover. Are there pictures or art that can give you a clue on the topics you may be studying? What about the title? Is this a book for beginners or for someone with more skill? Use the title for a more specific idea on the course.

What do you already know about this subject? What about the authors, publisher and publishing date? Is this an old book or is it pretty current? Review the table of contents, index, and glossary. How many chapters does the textbook have, and about how long are they?

What about sub-chapters? What are the titles of the chapters and sub-chapters? Is there a glossary or a series of appendices? What about a bibliography? What types of words does the index have in it? Skim the textbook for headlines and visuals. Quickly flip through the pages.

What immediately catches your attention? Take note of the chapter titles, bold words and vocabulary, photos, drawings, charts and diagrams. What do they tell you about things you'll be learning in the book? You can also skim to evaluate the difficulty of reading level for the text. Select one random page that is mostly text not many visuals and read it for comprehension. Time how long it takes you to read it. Part 2 of Read the end of the chapter first.

That's right. Go to the end of the chapter, and read the summary and the questions that are there. This is the perfect way to for you to get an idea of what you're about to read in the chapter. It will prep your brain and help it to sift through and make sense of all the more detailed information that's in the actual chapter.

Next, read the introduction to the chapter. This also helps your brain get ready for the onslaught of information and helps it with processing. Divide your assignment into 10 page chunks. After each chunk, go back and look at your highlights, your margin notes, and your notebook notes.

This will help you with longer term memory of what was read. Complete the next steps in this section using the 10 page chunk recommendation. When you've finished 10 pages and briefly reviewed them, begin the next 10 pages.

Or, take a quick break and then resume working on the next 10 pages. Highlight your own textbook. If you purchased the book and you're not borrowing it from a person, library, or school , you should highlight. There is a specific way to do this correctly, so keep the following in mind: Don't stop to highlight or take notes during the first reading.

This disrupts your flow of comprehension, and you may end up highlighting things that you shouldn't. Wait until you have read an entire paragraph or a whole short section depending on how the sections are broken up to go back and highlight. This way, you will know what is important enough to highlight. Don't highlight single words too little or entire sentences too much.

Keep it down to one or two highlighted phrases per paragraph. The idea of highlighting is that you should be able to glance at the highlighted phrases a month later and get the gist of what you read without having to re-read the whole thing. Write questions in the margins. In your margins, or on a post-it note if it is not your book that you bought , jot down one or two questions per paragraph or section that you should be able to answer from reading that paragraph or section.

Take notes. It is extremely important to write your notes in your own words. Writing your notes in your own words helps you avoid plagiarism if you have to write a paper, and you will be confident that you really comprehended something if your notes are not directly copied from the textbook. Bring your notes and questions to class. This will help you feel prepared for class discussions or lectures associated with the text.

Be sure to pay attention and participate during class, and write additional notes! Your instructor may tell you if tests are based mostly on the book or on lectures, but sometimes they don't tell you and it's best to be prepared for anything.

Part 3 of Multiply the number of pages in your assignment by 5 minutes. This is the time it takes an average college student to read the pages of a textbook. Keep this in mind as you schedule time for your reading. For instance, if you have to read 73 pages for an assignment, that is minutes, or approximately six hours of reading.

Give yourself breaks. If you calculate that you have four hours of reading, we don't recommend trying to do all of it at one time. You may become tired and unfocused. Read for an hour at your lunch break, an hour in the evening, etc. Try to spread it out a bit, taking into consideration how many days you have to complete the assigned number of pages and the hours it will take you to read them.

Read each day. If you fall behind, you will find yourself skimming and speed-reading, which causes you to miss important information. Schedule some time to read each day so you can chip away at the assignment slowly and less stressfully.

Read in a distraction-free zone.