Have you ever read an assignment and when you finished couldn't recall anything you read? Do you have a hard time staying awake while you read? These may be signs that you need to get more actively involved in the learning process. Some suggestions include:

Survey the assignment.

  • Analyze the purpose of the assignment.
  • Look over the introduction, headings (subtitles), italicized words, summary, etc.
  • Get a general idea of the material.
  • Review what you know and make predictions about what you think you will learn.
  • Make a sematic map of the chapter before reading and then fill in sections as the text is read.
  • The author had a plan to organize the material.  What is it?

Turn headings into questions and read to answer the questions.

  • Break the material into chunks and make notes on the main ideas or questions answered.
  • Confirm or revise the previous predictions made while surveying.
  • Use the SQ3R reading method.
  • Make concept webs or maps.

Other tips:

  • Review the information read by reciting the questions and corresponding notes.
  • Restate the information and link it to information already known.
  • Make study guides.
  • Organize the material if possible. Example: cause/effect flow charts, classification charts, thematic schemes, or hierarchical systems.
  • Periodically review to store the information in long term memory.
  • Be active while reading; not passive.