During college, there can be much reading to complete. This is a very tedious and time consuming task, no matter how fast you read. What helps is doing these techniques to help you stay alert (because let’s face it, reading textbooks is boring):
1) Highlight – highlighting key points, main ideas, facts, and other important information makes it easier for you to go back and look it up later, especially if you have to write a paper. (You should do this technique when you actually OWN the book. It’s acceptable to highlight when you rent, but keep in mind that other students will be using the same book later).
2) Write in the margins and empty space – writing down questions, your thoughts, and opinions about the text is a good method to utilize. It keeps you awake and you can always go to the teacher and ask for clarification on the questions you wrote. (You should also do this when you OWN the book).
3) Take notes – taking notes is essential to being successful in any class. By taking notes while you read, you will remember the material better, allowing for better exam scores. This method will also keep you alert.
Just as important as these 3 reading techniques is comprehending what you read. At the end of each chapter, summarize the author’s main points and ideas IN YOUR OWN WORDS. If you cannot summarize everything you did not fully understand the text.
These techniques can be used for regular books as well (the ones that high school English teachers require you to read). I suggest using Post-Its instead of writing in the book because you are borrowing and the staff discourages students from writing in them anyway.
This, my friends, is how you read with purpose. I hope you will be more productive and, therefore, achieve your goals.