Many students just open their textbooks and start reading, then wonder why they fall asleep, lose interest or don’t understand what they have read.  Students need to realize that reading demands a lot of work, but that they can develop strategies that will help them be more efficient and get more out of their reading.  Here are some suggestions:

The most technologically efficient machine that man has ever invented is the book. –Northrop Frye

  1. Read often but for short periods of time, about 20 minutes before taking a break.  This will help your concentration.
  1. Look over what you need to read before actually delving into the material.  Read over the introduction, headings, conclusion, and summary.  Also look at any charts, graphs, diagrams, or questions at the end of the chapter.  Think about what you are going to be reading before actually reading it.


  1. Have a strategy that you use while reading such as SQ3R, highlighting, or annotating.  (See Cindy in RCAS for more information.)  A strategy helps keep you actively involved in your reading.
  2. Use a reading strategy to set up a study system for preparing for tests.  You should have notes in your book or in a notebook that can be used to do this.


  1. Don’t worry that much about speed.  The more you read and practice a strategy, the more efficient you will become.  Read for fun, too!  This will help you become a better reader.

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