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Lesson #11 - Textbook Reading, Part 2
This is the second lesson on using Systematic Study to read and learn more from textbooks. In the first lesson you learned to Prepare to read by reflecting, reading introductions and summaries first, surveying topic markers, and predicting what you will read and what you will need to know.Q: What are you supposed to learn from textbooks?
All authors want you to learn the main ideas they present in their books. When you read, a good question to ask yourself is, "What does this author want me to know?" This will help you focus your attention and concentrate on finding main points.
Many students misunderstand how to read textbooks well. They think that they should just open their books and begin reading. They only stop when all the words have been read. This is not a good way to read. It is slow and often ineffective. In this lesson, you will learn three skills to improve your reading so you can read more in less time, and remember better.Q: What is this kind of reading called?
Reading like this is called active reading. To read well, you must be active; otherwise you may read words but not remember what they say. The opposite of active reading is passive reading.
Passive reading happens when people read but, because they were not concentrating, they have no idea what they read. They were thinking about something else. Passive reading is usually a waste of time. When people read actively, they think only about the topics they are reading.Q: How can you read actively?
The best way to read is the way in which you learn most. This changes from person to person. You will also learn more if you change how you read for different subjects. If one way of reading doesn't work, try another. You will learn a lot more about actions that will help you study and read effectively in the next few lessons.
Below are some guidelines to follow when you are reading textbooks. These will help you learn more as you study.
Q: Should you also Test when you read?
Yes, you want to read systematically so Testing your accomplishments should be the last part of reading. You should Test yourself to see if you have met your goal. Here are some questions you can ask your reading.
To Test yourself, you can also write a summary from memory, explain the ideas to someone else, and write an idea skeleton.
Q: How can you get started?
Identify the material to be covered in your classes for the next week. Make a reading schedule for your textbooks which covers this material. Plan to read an equal amount each day. You can choose how much to read by dividing the total number of pages by 6 or 7 (for the days in a week).
When you have finished each reading assignment, write a summary of the main ideas. Before you read, reread all summaries from previous days. You can use Form 11.1 to make your reading schedule.