Four levels of reading
Read newspapers or magazines to be entertained or stay
updated on current evens.
Read short stories, poetry, or fiction for pleasure
Skim, scan, or survey textbooks, chapters, essays, or articles
to create a BIG PICTURE (schema) or framework before
Read through difficult material uninterrupted and without
stalling to become familiar with the topic before beginning
thorough reading for comprehension.
Read slowly and systematically to allow your brain time to
acquire and process new information and systems.
Read to understand information resented in sentences,
paragraphs, and sections of information (headings,
subheadings or chapters)
Read carefully and adjust your reading strategies for different
levels of reading difficulty.
Use elaborative rehearsal to understand, analyze, associate,
and encode information for long-term memory.
Use textbook annotation and note-taking strategies to reflect
Read two or more articles, excerpts, or books on the same
subject and then compare or contrast the information.
Organize the information and analyze similarities and
differences in points of view, rationale, implications,
interpretations, modes, or approaches.
Are you an active reader?
Engages your mind with the ultimate goal of
Using or applying information
Active reading is an essential skill for academic success!
Places heavy demands on your working memory to
understand printed information.
It also requires you to associate it with previously earned
It expands existing schemas in long-term memory by adding
Strategies for active reading
Have a pen in your hand when you study.
Take notes, write questions, or jot down lists of information
you need to learn.
Use markers to highlight important information in the text
OR in your notes.
Talk out loud (recite) as you study to activate your auditory
channel. This helps improve concentration AND
Write summaries, make study tools (mapping, cards, charts).
Quiz yourself on the material. Write questions/answers.
By doing some of these …
You will prevent yourself from slipping into automatic pilot.
You will develop multi-sensory strategies to encode and
imprint information in your long-term memory.
You will increase your reading comprehension.
You will feel less stress.
You will select the strategies for specific types of reading
How do you read a textbook?
I skim through or preview the front and back sections of new
textbooks before I begin the first reading assignment.Y/N
I adjust my reading strategies for different kinds of textbooks
and different levels of difficulty. Y/N
When I begin reading a new chapter, I always open the book
to the first page and read straight through to the end of the
I read the chapter review question sand the summary before I
start reading the chapter. Y/N
I write my own study questions for each heading and
subheading in the chapter. Y/N
I sometimes postpone reading a new chapter because it
appears to be difficult or uninteresting. Y/N
I often finish reading a chapter only to find out that I
remember very little of what I have just read. Y/N
After I read a short section, I stop to highlight, underline, or
take notes. Y/N
When I study, I am quiet because I do all my practicing or
reviewing in my head. Y/N
I am confident in my ability to read all kinds of textbooks
without many difficulties. Y/N
Essential strategies for text reading
Begin with a clear intention to understand what you read.
Use an organized system for reading textbook chapters.
Relate new information to existing schemas in your long-
Manage your textbook reading time effectively.
Use spaced practice or spaced studying.
Include some form of feedback as you study.
Encode information from ordinary words into new sensory
First step: Survey the textbook
When you get a new textbook, get to know it!
Read the Title page, Copyright Page, and Table of Contents.
Read the introductory information – you know those pages
that are titled “To the Student…” READ them!
In the back of the textbook, there might be an Appendix. This
contains supplementary materials that should help you.
Check to see if there is a Glossary or Definition section.
Is there a References or Bibliography section.You may want
to use these sources if you need to write a research paper.
The Index will save you time!
SQ4R (great strategy)
Created in 1941 … proven effective when reading.
Survey the chapter.
Write questions for each heading and subheading.
Read the information, one paragraph at time.
Select a form of note-taking to record information.
Recite the important information from the paragraph.
Review the information learned in the chapter.
Step 1: Surveying a chapter
Read the introductory materials carefully.
Read the headings and the subheadings.
Look at visual materials such as charts, graphs, or pictures.
Read marginal notes.
Read the end-of-chapter materials, including any conclusion,
summary, or chapter review questions.
Step 2: Write questions
Write questions before you read the printed material.
It takes about ten minutes.
Formulate a variety of questions using
What, where, when, who, why, how (reporter’s questions)
Write these questions in your text, in your notes, on flash
cards, in Cornell note-taking system format.
Step 3: Read carefully
Do NOT feel the urge to read quickly.
Read one paragraph at a time.
If the text is exceptionally difficult, take the time to read
If the text is very easy, your pace will pick up.
Most textbooks are written for the average student, so read
one paragraph at a time and ask yourself, “Do I understand
what I just read?”
Step 4: Record information
Reading comprehension involves finding main ideas and
recognizing supporting details.
Take notes of important information.
These notes should be condensed or paraphrased.
Use your own language.
Taking notes puts you in the active phase of reading.
Step 5: Recite
Before you move to the next paragraph, stop and speak out
loud, using your own words and in complete sentences what
you just read!
For math and science chapters with formulas, recite the steps
used to solve problems or apply formulas.
Convert symbols in equations into English words.
Reciting helps you encode the information for memory and
creates retrieval cues.
Reciting helps hold information longer in your working
Step 6: Review
After you finish the SQ3R, add the fourth R: REVIEW!
Answer questions at the end of the chapter.
Answer the questions you posed in the QUESTION step.
Study and recite the notes you took during RECORD step.
Write a summary of the information in the chapter.
Personalize information: How can this information be used?
How does the lecture from class fit in with this information?
Create index cards, study tapes, visual maps.
Copy math/science problems from book. Work the
Reading may or may not be something you love.
Reading will boost your vocabulary (guaranteed).
Reading takes time.
Reading comprehension takes even more time.
Reading is a fact of life when you are a college student.
Reading should not cease once you graduate.
The more you read, the better a writer you will become.You
will speak with greater ease and you will discover that the
time spent reading was worth the effort.