Make the most of your reading

Reading is a significant component of your research. Below we have some handy tips and different methods to help you make the most out of the text you do. Throughout, you will be required to read the course material and assessments, and part of this will require research. These will most likely include creating text, offer suggested reading, refer you to library books, publications, and relevant internet sources.

It’s vital that you read efficiently and effectively for your studies to be successful: this implies reading what is essential, without wasting time, so that you can comprehend, use and recall whatever you have read. Below are advice, methods, and strategies that you can use to help you make the most of your studies.

Use these general tips for reading for any subject. 

Be selective. You should not read books from the beginning to the end.

Change approach. Depending on how helpful the content is for your purpose, you need to build the skills required to switch from one kind of reading to another. Using the book’s index pages at the end, you can find the specific pages you need.

Rather read from paper. Avoid reading from computer screens for lengthy periods if you use the web. It may be best to print an electronic copy on the appropriate font that you enjoy to read. Set objectives. When you read, it is simple to lose focus. 

Set yourself goals for reading through the assignment with clear goals for what you want to accomplish. 

Focus on the objective. Before you begin reading, write down the questions you need to answer. This will enhance your focus and save you from being side-tracked. 

Active Reading 

Active reading can assist you in getting the most from your text. This is how you do it:

Break the reading task into manageable parts or chunks before reading it. Skim read every portion. How do you do this?: Start by thinking about the subject.

  • What are you aware of?
  • What are you expecting to learn?
  • What would you like to know?

Check for headings, pieces of text in bold or italics, graphics, and text boxes. Then ask yourself:

  • Do you see anything that looks familiar?
  • See something in the writing which is new to you?

What’s your general feeling about the text?

After reading the text

Think about what you’ve just read after it.

  • What are the key issues?
  • Please note the key points and use your own phrases to clarify their meanings.
  • Could you explain the concept to another student or family member? Try to say it out loud to yourself, as this will assist in clarifying your thinking.
  • If you’re not sure what the words mean, find out–if you can’t understand what it means, you can’t use it. (And if you do not have anyone to explain it to, attempt an’ imaginary’ friend, or disclose it to your dog or cat).
  • Make a glossary, e.g., keep a notebook with new phrases, words, or jargon and technical terms that you need to understand.

Using the scan, skim, slurp, and summarize approach.
Skimming and scanning are reading methods using the fast motion of the eye and keywords to move text fast for slightly distinct reasons. Skimming means reading quickly to get an overview of the content. Scanning entails reading quickly to discover particular facts. While skimming informs you what general information is in a chapter, scanning enables you to find specific facts. Skimming is like snorkeling, and scanning is more like diving with pearls.

This is a straightforward four-stage method that helps to improve your reading.
1. Scan

  • Look over the page or websites you’re going to read rapidly.
  • Note the headings, the photos, and diagrams (usually in large print).
  • This should offer you an idea of what it is like to read.

2. Skim

  • Skim read the text
  • Dip into the text in search of the subheadings, keywords, and thoughts–for anything which stands out.
  • Pay attention to bold or italic phrases or look for text boxes in the document.

3. Slurp

Return to your main concepts when you skim the text and’ slurp’ (or’ drink’) data off the page with brief bouts of focused reading. Ask questions while you read so that the data is understood and remembered. You should ask yourself these questions:

  • What is this text in front of me? 
  • What do I already understand about this subject?
  • How can I use this data in my own life/studies?

4. Stop thinking about what you read after every slurp (5 to 10 minutes of reading burst).

  • Give yourself the opportunity to sink in the data.
  • Summarize the information, i.e., place your own phrases in the information and thoughts you have just read.

Preview-View-Review System of Study 
The View relates to either a lecture, a book chapter, or anything to be studied. What’s best is to prepare our minds for the things to come. This is where the Preview is useful. The objective of the Preview is to give our minds a taste of what will happen before the real incident takes place. In other words, pre-study the material (or listen/take notes while going through the study material). During the preview phase, our mind activates the associated understanding that it has stored on this topic automatically. For example, if we read a Supervising Staff chapter, the Preview will activate related knowledge and increase the likelihood of remembering things during the View (e.g., the actual chapter reading).

So, how to Preview effectively? Well, there can be a lot of distinct reading. Let’s say we’re about to read the Human Resource module. In the chapter read the bold text, look at figures and tables, and read through the questions and summary statements at the end of the chapter. This process will give us a taste of things to come when we read the chapter fully. Cognitive psychologists would call the Preview an advanced organizer. It has been recognised that after the research, if you preview something, you are more likely to remember it. In other words, there is a better chance of information being stored in memory when you attach it to earlier learned subjects.

Now, what about this portion of the review. The Review relates to a method to refresh your mind about what was found in the View. The review is just how it sounds: to be reviewed. There is an art to review. First of all, you need to work through the material more than once. Some indicate the first review occurs soon after the View has taken place (within an hour). Then one day after the View, the next (second) review should take place. The third review should then take place one week after the initial View. Now, depending on the content, there would be subsequent reviews on a weekly basis. Any review should be brief, say 5-10 minutes. The goal is to scan the material and activate memories.

In short, almost any situation can be covered by this method. Probably the first step for a beginner in this field is to use the preview material. Discipline and motivation are obviously needed for achievement.