Do you have any tips for getting through a large chunk of reading in textbooks? I'm starting my upper-level classes and most of my professors require us to read multiple chapters for each class, and I have no idea how I'm going to get through it...
What I’m about to say assumes that you have a syllabus/outline for each course, or that you at least are told “read these chapters before next class.”
- Look at how many days you have to read the given section(s).
- See how many pages long each section is.
- Divide the number of pages by the number of days you have to read them.
Now you know how many pages you need to read per day in each textbook.
You will need highlighters, notepaper, and a pen or pencil (or both; a few different colours of pens could be useful as well).
- On your notepaper, put the chapter number and title at the top. You will write page numbers in the left margin and take notes in the main of the page. This will help you later when you’re studying if you need to check details or get more information about a concept.
- Take a second sheet of notepaper and note which class you’re doing this for and call it your Glossary. You’ll use this to write down terms and definitions. You might also want to have one for Important Studies and one for Important People and Dates, depending on what your class is.
- Read the chapter summary and highlight the bits that are most important. This tells you what you’re going to be reading about, and often if it’s mentioned in the summary it’s more important than the other things in the chapter. Write these important bits on your notepaper.
- Read the first section of the chapter. Highlight the most important parts and paraphrase them in your notes, with the page number so you can check details later. If there are new terms you don’t know in the text, put them on your Glossary; do the same with the other things that go with your other sheets of paper from step 2.
- Repeat step 4 until you have read your allotted pages for the day.
While you are doing this, you may want to implement the timer method so that you are able to focus and get more read.
Tips for reading in general:
- Use blank pieces of paper to cover paragraphs that you aren’t reading. This will help you keep from jumping around the page.
- Read out loud if you are an auditory learner or a kinesthenic learner. You might also want to walk around while you are reading, or chew gum.
- A ruler can also keep your eyes on the correct line when you’re reading.
You might also find some suggestions in our “reading” tag.
I hope this is helpful!
Followers, what are your best tips for massive amounts of textbook reading?