Tips for Reading Course Materials

  1. Decide how much time you will need to complete the assignments and plan accordingly.
  2. Try doing your reading assignments at the same time each day.
  3. Take breaks only after completing major sections of an assignment
  4. Use the index, glossary, and footnotes.
  5. Preview each chapter before reading to get an overall picture
  6. If there are pre-reading questions, read them over before you begin.
  7. Use titles, headings, and subheading to ask questions about the material
  8. Try to identify the main idea of each paragraph
  9. Notice words or phrases that are in italics or boldface.
  10. Try to figure out the author’s pattern of organization as you read.
  11. Look at the visuals — maps, charts, graphs, and illustrations.
  12. Summarize the main points in the margin.
  13. Take notes — summarize, outline, star, underline, highlight, etc.
  14. Practice summarizing out loud what you read whenever possible.
  15. Make note cards or flash cards of difficult material to study later.
  16. Do not plan your study-reading when you are either tired or hungry.
  17. Use the context to figure out the meaning of unfamiliar words
  18. Gather additional materials — handouts, reference books, etc.

Need more advice? Make an appointment with a Peer Mentor to improve your study strategies!