Do you know how to read a textbook or other academic material effectively? If you’re reading this, you clearly know how to read, but do you know how to read educational material in particular? Most of us assume that we do, and yet, similar to tying our shoes, reading can become so unconscious that we don’t realize we’re doing it ineffectively. Success Coaches have noticed that some new UW Flexible Option students approach reading textbooks similar to reading a novel; they read every word once, starting on page one and continuing to the end of the book. If that describes you, take a look at these six reading myths described by Dartmouth College.
Considering the amount of time you’ll likely spend reading as Flexible Option student, check out these resources on how to read effectively:
- Active Reading: Comprehension and Rate: Prepared by Dartmouth College’s Academic Skills Center, this page offers several handouts and videos on how to read more efficiently and effectively.
- Reading a Textbook for True Understanding: Prepared by Cornell College, this page presents a Preview/Read Actively/Review (P2R) approach to reading a textbook.
- Effective Reading Strategies: This page presents a four-step strategy to reading textbooks along with links to other resources related to effective study habits.
Keep in mind that not all reading strategies are equally effective for all learning styles and all disciplines. For example, it’s difficult to skim a math textbook and read only for main ideas (although familiarizing yourself with the book’s general layout can help). Pay attention to both how you learn and the particular material you’re studying to develop a solid reading strategy.