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2.1.4: Read Efficiently

  • Page ID
    25723
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    To read efficiently, consider the following:

    • Sit down (in your ideal setting and at your ideal time, if possible) and prepare to read.
      • Do whatever you need to do to minimize distractions during your reading session. (This may include putting your smartphone and other technology in another room.)
      • Have paper and pencil available to take notes.
    • Read carefully, stopping and rereading sections you don’t quite understand.
    • Be sure to look up words you’re not familiar with.
      • This is important! Most of us are good contextual readers; that is, we can usually figure out what an unfamiliar word means based on the content around it. But in your academic, college-level writing, every word is important, and some words carry enough power to change the meaning of a sentence or to launch it into a whole new level of detail.
        • Also, some words have different meanings in the academic setting than in our more casual everyday lives. When you hit a word you don’t know, stop, make a note in the margin (or on a piece of paper), and look it up.
      • If you find that stopping to look up individual words is too distracting, you can make a list of all the unknown words you run into and then look them all up when you’ve finished reading.
    • Keep reading until you’re done.
      • Don’t be distracted.
      • If you begin to feel fidgety, stop, get up, and take a five minute break. Then get back to your reading.

    The more you read, the stronger your habit will grow, and the easier reading will be.

    License and Attributions:

    CC licensed content, Previously shared:

    The Word on College Reading and Writing. Authored by: Carol Burnell, Jaime Wood, Monique Babin, Susan Pesznecker, and Nicole Rosevear. Located at: https://human.libretexts.org/Bookshelves/Composition/Book%3A_The_Word_on_College_Reading_and_Writing_(Babin_et_al.)/Part_1/2%3A_Building_Strong_Reading_Skills/2.04%3A_Read_Efficiently
    License: CC BY: Attribution.

    Adaptions: Reformatted, some content removed to fit a broader audience.


    2.1.4: Read Efficiently is shared under a CC BY-NC-ND license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.

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