Many of us want to read more. Even those people who are able to read more, strive to perceive and assimilate the material fully. We offer some techniques that are designed to make the reading process more effective.
Tips on productive reading
Ask questions before reading
You probably have some general knowledge and presumption of what this piece of writing is about. Thus, you should ask yourself three questions before you begin:
- What information do I already obtain?
- What more should I learn?
- I am interested if…
Basing on your answers, you will gain a better idea of what you are expecting to get out of the book. Due to this, you will not simply read it, but you will seek to learn from it.
Take little breaks as you read to ask more questions
Do it to make sure that the material is sticking. Keep asking these questions as you read:
- What sense does it make?
- Does this data relate to what I already know?
- What intentions does the author have?
- Do I still have to learn more about it?
This gives you the chance to assess the material continually. You will develop critical thinking skills by evaluating the information. Besides, you will be able to distinguish more concrete information in the text.
Take longer pauses after difficult sections
Your goal is to make sure you comprehend the material thoroughly, so when there is an extremely complicated section, stop and:
- Think carefully about the material that is discussed
- Divide a large bulk of text into smaller pieces
- If there are any terms that you do not understand then find their meanings
- Sum up this section
- Discuss it with someone else
These steps will let you ensure you have fully processed and conceived this section before moving to the next one.
Visualize as you read
Make visual representations of what is presented in the book by:
- Imaging what … might look like
- Creating a mental picture of a particular process/system working
Thanks to this, you will fuller memorize the information about a particular issue, and the way it looks when functioning.
Make connections as you read
Relate the new material to the pieces of data that you already obtain. You probably know something about what you are learning now from other books, personal experience, etc., so you can add something new to that base.
Take notes as you read
Here are some tips on taking notes:
Find the key points and concentrate on them
Use simple words
Make notes maximally short
Organize your notes clearly, using plain headings and subheadings
Continually reread and improve if necessary as you read
You can also turn to papertyper, a free useful tool that might help you make your learning process even more effective.
Find critical ideas after reading
So you have read the book, made notes, devoted sufficient time to reflect and comprehend, and asked yourself questions throughout the reading process. Now, after the completion of the book, you should think about its main ideas.
Ask yourself the following:
What is the most significant thing you learned from the book?
What is its main message?
What are its biases?
What did it leave out?
The last question should provide you with an opportunity to conduct some research and find further material for your productive learning.