Be a responsible reader.

Complete every reading assignment on time. Plan your times for reading so that they are spread out among more active events. Set goals for how much reading you intend to complete in one sitting. Choose a quiet location conducive to study. If you are reading an assignment when you only have a limited amount of time, set an alarm so that you don’t keep looking at the clock.

Be an active reader.

Understand the purpose of the assigned reading (many texts will include objectives at the beginning of each section). Develop an understanding of the way the material is organized. Think about the key ideas and compare them to each idea as it is presented. Question what you read. Audio learners will find it helpful to read out loud.

Use a reading strategy.

There are many reading strategies that apply these principles: previewing for an overview, questioning, summarizing, recording ideas in key word form, reciting ideas, reflecting about what was read, reviewing learning regularly. One such strategy is the SQ3R method which stands for Survey, Question, Read, Recite, Review.

Skim and Scan.

Skimming the contents of a reading assignment (headings, sub-headings, topic sentences etc.) is a common way to preview the assignment. Scanning is used to identify the organization of a reading and then to locate specific information quickly and accurately. Finding a number in a phone book is an example of scanning.

Record and review important ideas.

Taking good notes will limit the amount of re-reading you will have to do later. Actively taking notes as you read forces you to think about the ideas. Reviewing these notes regularly helps to keep the material fresh in your mind, limiting the amount of study you might have to do later.

Apply questions to what you read.

Questioning allows the reader to move beyond the process of taking in information (reading) and allows that information to turn into gained knowledge (learning). Ask yourself questions and find the answers. Questions should include recall of simple facts as well as analysis of more complex applications. Many texts include summary questions for you to ask yourself. Questions that you cannot answer should be asked to your teacher.