Introduction to Reading Strategies

What you’ll learn to do: analyze and utilize general reading strategies

We know intuitively that reading is good for us, though sometimes it can feel like a chore—especially when it’s required for school. The following video emphasizes the benefits that reading can bring, by literally changing the way our brain works. While we won’t necessarily learn how to do Kung Fu just by studying a book, reading about an activity apparently makes the pathway towards acquiring that new skill much easier!

Watch It

Watch this video to learn more about the amazing effects of reading on your brain.

You can view the transcript for “Reading Can Change Your Brain!” here (download).

Reading for education is a bit of a different activity than reading for pleasure. Effective reading for educational purposes doesn’t consist of just looking at a text once and then putting it away. Instead, successful reading in education is a series of interrelated activities that involves interacting with a text several times, in differing ways.

An open book.

The recommended amount of time college students should devote to studying outside of class is two-three hours per credit hour each week. In other words, a student enrolled in 15 credit hours should spend 30-45 hours per week studying, and much of that time will be devoted to reading. In fact, the path to a college degree means hundreds and hundreds of hours of reading.

This section will help you use those hours most productively by introducing strategies for active reading, which will help streamline your learning process. In the next couple of pages, you will learn some tips to maximize your reading efficiency so you have a better sense of what to do before, while, and after you read. These strategies include previewing, skimming, questioning, and annotating.

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