Study (reading) a textbook

Have you ever caught yourself turning the page of a book (any book) and then wondering what in the world you have been reading?  Your eyes have been scanning the page but you have been failing to even acknowledge the information your eyes are “reading.”

This is not effective study or reading.  It will not help you be successful in your classes or in college.  Stating that the book is “boring” isn’t helpful because that doesn’t mean it will be exempt from the exam.  SO . . . here are ways to go about reading:

  1. Read through the table of contents and any prefaces provided;
  2. For each assigned reading, do a “global read” of the pertinent pages noting subdivisions within chapters, bolded headings/titles, and other markers of categorization.
  3. Read through the introduction of each chapter AND the conclusion to each chapter BEFORE reading the entire chapter.
  4. Figure out the main arguments (there may be more than one, or there may be one central argument with nested arguments);
  5. Figure out the main strands of evidence used to support the argument;
  6. Figure out the significance of the argument
  7. Read through the entire chapter.
  8. Take notes for both “big picture” arguments but be sure you can also provide examples of the evidence used to support the arguments and how those links are made.

Get out your highlighters or pencils; use sticky notes to make tabs to relevant passages and pages.  Good luck!

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