Tips for Reading Course Materials
- Decide how much time you will need to complete the assignments and plan accordingly.
- Try doing your reading assignments at the same time each day.
- Take breaks only after completing major sections of an assignment
- Use the index, glossary, and footnotes.
- Preview each chapter before reading to get an overall picture
- If there are pre-reading questions, read them over before you begin.
- Use titles, headings, and subheading to ask questions about the material
- Try to identify the main idea of each paragraph
- Notice words or phrases that are in italics or boldface.
- Try to figure out the author’s pattern of organization as you read.
- Look at the visuals — maps, charts, graphs, and illustrations.
- Summarize the main points in the margin.
- Take notes — summarize, outline, star, underline, highlight, etc.
- Practice summarizing out loud what you read whenever possible.
- Make note cards or flash cards of difficult material to study later.
- Do not plan your study-reading when you are either tired or hungry.
- Use the context to figure out the meaning of unfamiliar words
- Gather additional materials — handouts, reference books, etc.
Need more advice? Make an appointment with a Peer Mentor to improve your study strategies!