Nepenthe

May 24, 2018
Sedona, AZ
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Today's Tips Go Back 
Reading Better and Faster

1. While reading, you must pay attention. It takes effort and you must make the effort. There are some simple things that you can do to pay better attention and get more out of your reading. It will improve your reading comprehension if you first preview the text before you actually start.

Here is how you can preview a reading:

a. Take about 30-60 seconds to do this
b. Look over the title of the book or chapter
c. Look at all the headings, subheadings, italic print, or bolded
d. Look at all the illustrations, charts, or graphs
e. Quickly skim over the entire passage, reading the first paragraph and glancing at the first sentence of every other paragraph after
f. Close the book and ask yourself three things:
1. What is the author’s main idea?
2. What kind of writing is it?
3. What is the author’s purpose?

If you have previewed the material properly, you should have a good idea of what the text is about. By having this general knowledge, you will be able to understand and remember the reading better.

It sometimes helps if you read the material as if you were searching for something. It helps if you take the heading or title and turn it into a question. For example, the title “The Causes of the Gulf War,” read it like a question: “What are the causes of the war in the Gulf”? When you are goal oriented, you are more likely to reach the goal.

2. Stop talking to yourself when you read. People talk to themselves in two ways when reading:
1. Vocalizing, which is the actual moving of your lips as you read
2. Subvocalizing, which is talking to yourself in your head as you silently read.

This will slow you down to the point in which you think you cannot read faster than you can talk. When in fact, reading should be an activity that involves only the eyes and the brain. Vocalization ties reading to actual speaking. Think of reading as a beautiful landscape in front of you, a panorama of ideas.

3. Read in thought groups. Studies show that when we read, our eyes need small stops. Poor readers make a lot of these. This dramatically slows you down, and it also inhibits your comprehension. Try to read in phrases of three or four words. Your mind could internalize them as if the whole phrase is like one big meaning-rich word.

4. Don’t keep re-reading the same phrases. This habit can double or even triple reading time, and does not improve comprehension. It is better to work on paying better attention, and making a preview before reading. You’ll remember more than you would by re-reading.

5. Vary your reading rate to suit the difficulty and type of writing of the text. Poor readers always read at the same slow rate. An efficient reader speeds up for easier material and slows down for the hard.