Strategies for Reading

Copyright 2007 © Laraine Flemming.
Permission to copy this material is granted exclusively to instructors and students using textbooks written by Laraine Flemming. General distribution and redistribution are strictly prohibited.

Directions: The following list contains the reading strategies most often used by college students trying to understand and remember textbook material. Put an X next to those strategies you already use. Put a check next to those you plan to use in your next study session.

1. I always do a quick survey to get a general sense of the material. ____

2. I re-read difficult passages two or even three times. ____

3. If a passage is particularly difficult, I may even read it aloud. ____

4. I adapt my reading rate to the text’s level of difficulty, speeding up when it seems easy, slowing down when it seems hard. ____

5. When I finish a chapter section, I usually look up from the page and paraphrase the author’s main idea; or else, I try to answer a question I posed about the heading. Sometimes I do both. ____

6. I write while I read, summing up key points in the margins or posing questions about the material. ____

7. I underline key words or passages while I read. ____

8. If I don’t think I have fully understood a passage, I mark it for a second reading and continue reading the chapter. ____

9. If there are visual aids like graphs, tables, and charts, I look at them before and after I read the accompanying text. ____

10. Whenever I can, I try to take the author’s words personally, considering what I may already know about the subject and checking to see if I agree or disagree with the author’s point. ____

11. When the course work is really important for my future goals, I try to join or create a study group that will read and discuss the assignments with me. ____

12. If I don’t know a particular word, I try to figure it out from the context, or setting. ____

13. As I read, I make a list of the specialized vocabulary words essential to understanding the course content. ____

14. I look for patterns of organization like cause and effect or comparison and contrast that will help me mentally organize the information in the text. ____

15. Whenever possible, I try to create mental pictures of what I read. ____

16. If the author describes the steps in a process or the parts of a larger whole, I make my own diagrams based on the author’s words. ____

17. If I plan to cover ten or fifteen pages in one study session, I stay true to that plan by taking a break if I get tired rather than giving up on the assignment altogether. ____

18. When I finish a chapter, I look over the headings and do a quick review of the major points they introduced. ____

19. Anytime I can’t recall anything about a major heading, I mark that section for a second reading, and I reread it during my next study session. ____

20. If I don’t understand a key point in a chapter, I clarify it with a classmate or the instructor before I go on to the next chapter. ____

Last change made to this page: Feb. 28, 2014

Questionnaire: Improving Concentration
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