WRAC Active Reading

Read Actively and Never Be Bored!

I. What Is Active Reading?:

A. Active Reading is the reading strategy of interacting with the text through margin notes and the marking of main ideas. This time-saving process allows the reader to better reference and understand the material.

B. The Benefits of Active Reading:

• Gain a better understanding of the course materials as well as methods to read material for daily life.
• If you study smartly, you won't have to take the extra time later when you try to cram for a test.
• Know your instructor's expectations and purpose for the reading assignment.

II. Note-Taking Strategies: Finding the main ideas and interacting with the text.

A. Annotating: Once you know the information you need from the text, write notes in the margin as a reminder of what you've read, to question what you've read, and to show the connection between ideas.

B. Mapping/ Charting: Make a visual representation of the information.

C .Summarizing: Restate the main ideas, using your own words. Remember that main ideas often appear at the end of the introduction and at the beginnings of the paragraphs following the introduction.

D. Outlining: Organize the ideas for yourself in a formal or informal outline.

III. Systems Of Study (to be used with the note-taking strategies):

A. The P2R system:

• P is for Preview: Look over the text. Read the title, any italicized sections, the introduction, the beginning of paragraphs, sub-headings, tables, charts, and captions. See if you can predict the information you will see when you read the text.
• R is for Read: Thoroughly read over the entire work. 
• R is for Recite: Every few minutes look up and recite to yourself what you have just read.

B. The SQ4R system:

• S is for Survey: Surveying is like previewing. Look over the text and see if you can tell what the reading will be about.
• Q is for Question: Ask yourself questions about the information you pick up from surveying.
• R is for Read: Carefully read over a portion of the text.
• R is for Recite: (Same as mentioned before) Recite to yourself what you have just read.
• R is for Repeat: Repeat the steps of Read and Recite as you work your way through the text.
• R is for Review: After you have read through the entire work, review what you read and understood.

IV. Comprehension of Material:

A. Ideal Concentration:

1. Read in a setting without distractions. (ie- no TV, radio, quiet, comfortable- yet in an upright position).
2. Set aside time to study and be completely focused only on the reading task.

B. Causes of Poor Concentration:

1. Distractions 
2. Lack of Sleep
3. Hunger 
4. Stress

C. How to Monitor and Improve Concentration: Study in increments. For example, spend 45 minutes reading with a 15 minute break. Pace yourself.

V. General Tips for Being a Better Reader: (info provided by Shasta College)

• Read the study questions first.
• Skim the important sections of the text (ie-the introduction, conclusion).
• Read through the whole text quickly without stopping, underlining vocabulary or references you are not sure about.
• Look up those words and references, and write the definitions in your text.
• Read through the text a second time, but more slowly checking your comprehension. If you need to, re-read or ask for help to understand difficult passages.
• While you are reading a second time, highlight and annotate.
• When you are finished, use your annotations to write a more formal summary.
• Identify issues you want to discuss in class.
• Bring up your issues in class.