Preview the reading: how do the title, subtitles, and headings prepare you for the content?
Before you read a passage ask, "What does the author want me to know? What's the purpose?"
When you're finished reading a passage, try to teach someone else the material. If you can effectively share the information, that means you must know it!
Use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl F (Find) to open a search box on any webpage, pdf, or Word document. Type in the keyword, concept, or character name you want to find. This will highlight the term wherever it occurs and show how many times it appears.
What techniques do you use to stay focused on your reading?
What's the purpose of the text you're reading?
Why do you think it's a good idea to take notes on your readings?
Why should you make use of chapter summaries or review questions?
Understand the purpose of the text and adapt your reading strategy. Most college reading consists of three forms of writing:
• Expository/ Informational
Purpose: to teach or inform
Examples: Academic research, reports, textbooks, documentaries
• Imaginative/ Narrative
Purpose: to show, explain, inspire, provoke, teach, persuade, etc., often using invented words, situations, or characters
Examples: fiction, poetry, oral history, theater script, films
• Persuasive/ Argumentative
Purpose: to change your opinion or convince you to take action
Examples: editorials, opinion pieces, blog posts, petitions
The KWL strategy:
Create 3-column notes for each chapter/article, etc., and label the columns Know, Want, and Learn.
Your instructor will likely expect you to read the entire text word for word. This is the ideal reading method to gain a full understanding and appreciation of creative and imaginative texts.
Pay attention to details. Every word, action, place, thought, and object described in a literary text is deliberate. Analyzing how and why an author has made particular choices (calling a character a particular name, choosing a particular setting, etc.) can help you identify themes and understand how the author is constructing meaning through their text.
It can be helpful to start by using the 5Ws to get started:
If you don’t have enough time to read the entire text, use some of these strategies:
Remember: The goal is to persuade, sway opinion, or convince others to take a specific action, like signing an online petition, so think about how the text is manipulating a response.
TOOLS & RESOURCES