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Active reading with the pen
Keep paper and pen within reach. Before beginning to read, think about the purpose for
the reading. Why has the teacher made this assignment? What are you supposed to get out of
Use the cursor on computer like a magic wand as you read text. Underline
reading text. The cursor becomes a finger, and
instinct kicks in - your eyes follow for moving object. This increase information
perception on 50%, and add that important 10% to memory and concentration.
So that's it, you're on the way to improved knowledge acquisition. Want to know why
the most intelligent people hate reading? It slow and boring and their brain is moving at
the speed of sound.
Use a guide (pencil, finger, ruler) to stop regression. Train yourself to bypass your
automatic response to mentally speak each word. Reading groups of words and phrases at a
time, using our peripheral vision. Specifically, taking in a sentence in three gulps, not
ten, which is typical for educated professionals. But now you have the first two steps.
When you are reading it is often useful to highlight, underline and
annotate the text as you go on. This emphasizes information in the mind, and helps you to
review important points after you have finished studying the text. Active reading helps to keep the mind focused on the material and stops it wandering.
This is obviously only something to do if you own the document or book. If you find that active
reading helps significantly, then it may be worth copying information in more expensive
texts. You can then read and mark the photocopies.
Marking & Underlining in a Textbook
- First read a section.
- Review the section, marking and underlining selectively.
- Underline information as if you were preparing brief notes from which you could study.
- Underline all definitions of terminology.
- Mark or label examples that represent main ideas.
- Circle and box special vocabulary words and transitional words and phrases.
- Number important or sequential ideas.
- Jot down paraphrases, questions, and summaries in available space within the text.
Readers should use a pen or finger to trace each line of text as they move down the
page to keep track of where they are reading.
Use index and middle fingers to run across the text. Switching fingers with each line
previews the next, and you can grasp the information better. The eye sees the next
Subconsciously, the eye will skip around a page of text, which is why reading can take
so much time.
Always read with a pen in your fist underlining each word of a sentence as
you think. You will increase speed reading in 50%, and add 10% to concentration
and memory. It's an instinct - our eyes follow a moving object. It's what saved
our cave-dwelling ancestors from sneaky dinosaurs and enemies next door.
Tips: Skim Speed Reading strategy
Skim the text to find key words and become familiar with the language and
themes. You may decide at this stage that you need to get a dictionary. Again,
by doing this you're adding flesh to your bare bones.
Speed reading tips