Textbook Reading and Comprehension
Have you ever read an assignment and when you finished couldn't recall anything you read? Do you have a hard time staying awake while you read? These may be signs that you need to get more actively involved in the learning process. Some suggestions include:
Survey the assignment.
- Analyze the purpose of the assignment.
- Look over the introduction, headings (subtitles), italicized words, summary, etc.
- Get a general idea of the material.
- Review what you know and make predictions about what you think you will learn.
- Make a sematic map of the chapter before reading and then fill in sections as the text is read.
- The author had a plan to organize the material. What is it?
Turn headings into questions and read to answer the questions.
- Break the material into chunks and make notes on the main ideas or questions answered.
- Confirm or revise the previous predictions made while surveying.
- Use the SQ3R reading method.
- Make concept webs or maps.
- Review the information read by reciting the questions and corresponding notes.
- Restate the information and link it to information already known.
- Make study guides.
- Organize the material if possible. Example: cause/effect flow charts, classification charts, thematic schemes, or hierarchical systems.
- Periodically review to store the information in long term memory.
- Be active while reading; not passive.
Visit the Study Strategies Desk at the Learning Center to have your reading and study skills analyzed.
For Online Students - Capturing the main ideas may be more difficult since there are fewer "in-class clues." If you have difficulty differentiating between main ideas and supporting facts/details, call (765) 285-3779 for a Study Strategies tutor. Helpful ideas may be given over the phone or through online tutoring.
The Learning Center
North Quad (NQ), Room 350
Ball State University
Muncie, IN 47306
Hours: Academic Year: Monday-Thursday 9 a.m.-8 p.m.
Friday 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
Summer: Monday-Thursday 12 p.m.-4 p.m.