How to Read Effectively!

How to Read Effectively!

Reading effectively is a piece of cake whether you’re reading for school or fun. Not only will these tips help you retain and comprehend the information you’re learning, but it makes the reading experience that much more enjoyable.

1. Make an overall reading goal.

Establish a comprehension goal before closely reading the text. Think about why you need to understand the material in front of you—what is the end goal of reading?

2. Review the author, title, and synopsis.

Determine the genre and purpose to grasp a brief understanding. Before you start reading, take a good look at the author and title. Read the back or inside panels of the book or the blurb at the start of an article.

3. Skim through the text.

Get a preview of what’s to come by flipping through the pages. Once you have the basic idea of what you’re reading, scan through the table of contents and headers or flick through the pages.

4. Read the end before diving into the intro.

Start with the concluding paragraph first to understand the main idea(s). While starting at the end may feel counterintuitive, it can help you read more effectively because you’ll know what you need to comprehend.

5. Try selective reading for lengthy academic works.

Skim certain passages to get through informative text quickly. Instead of reading each sentence word for word, jump to the passages that are the most relevant to your research and reading goal.

6. Take notes while you read.

Practice active reading by taking notes. Before grabbing your notebook, wait until you’ve finished reading or skimming through a complete section or idea. Take a moment to summarize the main idea in your head first, and then write the main points and concepts.

7. Limit distractions while you read.

Settle down in a quiet spot to read. Reading comprehension is all about focus, and if there are too many distractions, you won’t be able to fully process the material. Turn off or silence your electronic devices. Make sure you’re not hungry or sleepy before you start reading, as these feelings could distract you.

8. Think about what you’ve read.

Pause between main ideas to process the reading material. Once you reach the end of a main idea, section, or chapter, take a few moments to let everything soak in before you get back to reading.

9. Make personal connections to the material.

Connect what you read to your existing knowledge or past experiences. Rather than approaching the text as an isolated piece of writing, try to relate it to other things you’ve read.

10. Put down the material if you get frustrated.

Take a break if you’re not connecting with the text. Instead of getting frustrated and giving up, be patient with yourself. Set the textbook, novel, or article aside for a few minutes to process the material and reenergize.

Check Favorite Reading Spots here.