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Active Reading Strategies


Published on December 3, 2014

! ! ! © The Unlocked Learner Ltd., 2014 Page  of  26 So … start implementing the following strategies and those regular up-all-night reading sessions should soon belong in the past! First, clarify the purpose of your reading by asking yourself meaningful questions. Is it prep/background reading for a discussion class/seminar? If yes, what are the main points and/or level of detail that I need to have understood? Which aspects of teaching does it relate to? What questions, if any, may arise about those aspects? What do I already know and understand about those aspects? (Note down key words/ideas on paper) What am I struggling to understand? Am I familiar enough with key vocabulary/meaning of concepts? Is it reading for a specific assignment? Do I fully understand how the assignment question is asking me to approach the topic i.e. have I interpreted the question correctly? If not, re-read the question and establish the ‘how’ . If yes, how exactly does this text relate to the assignment? Which sections of the text are relevant to the question? Reading irrelevant material for an assignment is a complete waste of time after all! Yes, it is acceptable to only read the abstract, introduction and conclusion or abstract and methodology of a research paper or selected sections of a chapter/book. Is it reading for a lecture? Higher-level study requires a higher degree of preparation. Make it a habit to read over your lecture notes before class and look up any new vocabulary/terms so you can understand the lecture. Always use a subject-specific dictionary so you learn the correct meaning of key terms and vocabulary within the right context through examples.