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Tips for Reading Efficiently To Help You Survive At University!

Discussion in 'Medical Students Cafe' started by Egyptian Doctor, Jun 16, 2021.

  1. Egyptian Doctor

    Egyptian Doctor Moderator Verified Doctor

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    ACTIVE OR PASSIVE?
    Are you an active or passive reader? Active readers use strategies aimed at building connections.* Passive readers learn in piecemeal fashion, one idea at a time.* (*Adapted from Kiewra, K. A., & Dubois, N. F. (1998). Learning to learn: Making the transition from student to lifelong learner. Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon.)

    How many of these sentences describe how you read?

    • I grab my text and read.
    • I start at page one and read until the end.
    • I highlight all the important information in yellow.
    • I read everything at the same speed.
    • I believe everything I read.
    • If I don’t understand something, I read it again.
    • I read and then write notes on what is in the textbook.
    • When I read, I try to memorize all the important information.
    Passive reading is ineffective and time-consuming. It can also lead to frustration and a lack of desire to continue reading.

    Active reading requires “will” and “skill” – you have to want to read, and you need to learn and use effective reading strategies.

    PRE-READING STRATEGIES
    (*Adapted from McWhorter, K. T. (1995). College reading and study skills. New York, NY: HarperCollins.)

    1. Survey the Chapter - Your goal is to become familiar with the material, and to activate your thinking:
      - Read the title and subtitle.
      - Read the introduction or first paragraph.
      - Read each major heading.
      - Read the first sentence under each heading.
      - Read the last paragraph or the summary.
    2. Budget Time - Now based on your survey, decide how much time you will need to read the chapter.
      - Consider the length of the text, its density, and its difficulty.
      - Schedule the time in so that when you read, your goal is to understand the material.
    3. Make a Map of the Chapter - On a “sticky note,” list headings, subheadings, and terms from the chapter.
      - Writing things down will reinforce what you’ve read.
      - You can also take the list to class for reference during the lecture.
    STRATEGIES DURING READING


    1. Use Visual Cues
      - Let the visual layout of the textbook help you decide what to read.
      - Often, examples are indented, separated, or in italics.
      - If you understand a concept, you may not need to read all the examples provided.
      - Decide for yourself which sections of the chapter are necessary to read.
    2. Give the Information a “Title”
      - When you’ve read a paragraph, a few paragraphs, half a page, or a whole page, and you aren’t clear on what you’ve covered, give the information a “title.”
      - Write your title down and go back to confirm that it matches the information provided.
      - Otherwise, you’ll be rereading and rereading without focus or purpose.
    3. Mark the Text
      - Read with a pencil in your hand and mark important information using symbols.
      - For example, draw a box around the main theme, underline the sub-themes, and circle the details.
      - This will assist you with maintaining concentration and attention.
    POST-READING STRATEGIES
    Many students take notes from the textbook after they have read the chapter. The key is not to make a second set of notes that you will need to study from. Consolidate the information from the textbook with the corresponding lecture notes – then, you’ll have a complete set of notes. You can do this by adding a page, writing in the margin, or on the back of the page.

    1. Generate Representations*
      - What structure does the information “lend” itself to?
      - Can you reorganize the information into a table, flowchart, timeline, diagram, etc.?
    2. Generate a Final Summary*
      - What conclusions can you draw about what you’ve just read?
      - List the main ideas of the chapter or write a short summary.
    3. Compile Questions* - Do you have any questions about what you’ve just read?
      - Are there any gaps in the information from your notes and the textbook?
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