Simple strategies for reading a text quickly
Reading with a plan
AN APPROACH TO READING A CHAPTER IN A GENERAL TEXT. Across the board, reading strategies will differ depending on the goal you wish to achieve. At the time when you are ready to gain information on a particular chapter, you need to browse through the different sections to see if the information is suitable for your intended purpose. With this in mind, we will approach the process of examining a chapter with a greater understanding. The following steps will tend to give you an overview of a chapter in a textbook:
Read the heading of the chapter.
Read the first paragraph. This will generally give you an idea of what the content of the chapter will revolve around.
Read the subheadings of the chapter. You will see these in a larger font size than the rest of the reading.
Scan the tables, graphs, pictures, charts and other visual aids. Read the headings of each.
Read the conclusion.
If there are any questions at the end, read them.
It would have taken just a short time to complete the steps involved in getting an overview of a particular chapter if you follow the steps mentioned above. As you gain a greater level of understanding from following the steps, you will examine how to apply them to tackle your given assignments. The approach to each assignment will vary. If say you are given a question based on the effects of global warming on plants in the tropics? You could then read the question, scan the chapter until you find a subheading entitled: Impact of global warming. We will then be on our way to finding the correct response. This strategy is quite useful in the context of this assignment, however there are some other questions which we need to answer as we approach different tasks. Some of the questions that we need to consider are:
Will you be given a test or quiz the next day to test your knowledge of what you read? As you prepare for this test with little time, you should plan accordingly. For example, if you have household chores to do you can use an alarm on a cell phone or a timer to alert you to change your activity.
Are you reading to gather information for a research paper? If you are gathering information for a research paper you will need to do a more intensive type of reading utilizing different reading sources.
Is the reading designed just for completing a homework? If so, you should take the time to read the material more than once to get a greater understanding of the material. You should also read and re-read the questions to clarify any misunderstandings.
Do you read to acquire knowledge, so that you will acquire more confidence as you prepare for the next days class discussion. In order to boost your confidence, ensure you take notes so that you have more information to draw upon.
Are you reading to enhance your understanding of the material covered in order to accomplish certain goals? As you do this please be sure you get at least a basic understanding of how to arrange the different parts to achieve the desired result. For example, if you are given a project to complete, ensure the parts or ideas are correctly arranged or assembled.
As you attempt to apply the strategies above, never forget to plan in a timely manner and always remember your intended goal.