1. Before Reading – Ask Questions
Before you start reading a book, you will have a basic idea of what the book is about. This allows you to ask yourself 3 simple questions before you start to read. They are:
– What do I already know?
– What more do I want to know?
– I wonder if…
The answers to these questions will give you a foundation to build on and something which you’re looking to get out of the book. This means you’re not just reading without an objective, but instead you’re actively looking to learn something from the book.
2. During Reading – Take small pauses and ask more questions
As you’re reading, you need to take small and intermittent pauses to ensure that what you’re reading is sticking. Ask yourself the following questions as you’re reading.
– Does this make sense?
– How does this information connect to what I already know?
– What does the writer say about…?
– What does the writer mean about…?
– I still need to know more about…?
By asking yourself these questions as you read, you are constantly evaluating whats being said. By looking at what the author is explaining, as well as the meaning behind it, you will understand the thinking process more effectively. You are also continuing to look for more specific information in the upcoming text.
3. During Reading – Take A Longer Pause After A Difficult Section
You want to make sure you are fully understanding what is being said, so when you come across a particularly difficult part of the text, its important to stop and do the following:
– Pause and think about what was discussed
– Break the text into smaller chunks
– Look up words which you didn’t understand
– Build yourself a short summary of what you read
– Discuss what you read with someone
These steps will make sure you have fully processed and understood this section before you move on.
4. During Reading – Visualize
To better understand what you’re reading, its important to make visual representations of what is being discussed by:
– Picturing what…might look like
– Creating a mental image of a system or a process working
This will help you remember not only what you read and understood, but how it looks as it is functioning.
5. During Reading – Make Connections
A critical part of learning and understanding something new is to connect it with pieces of information that you already understand. You will already know about certain parts of what you’re reading from previous texts, your own personal experience and other people so you will be able to add to that base.