Study Tip for the Day: Reading Notes

When you get a new textbook it is important to write in that book as you are reading.  Not only does the activity of writing in a textbook increase your comprehension of the reading material, but it helps you study for your tests.

However, most people who start to write in their textbooks do it in a way that makes studying harder, not easier.

Here is a smart way to do it: 

1.  Use one highlighter and one pen.

2. Use the highlighter to highlight QUESTIONS not answers.

For example, if you textbook says, “There are five major human senses, and they are smelling, hearing, touching, hearing, and tasting.”  Highlight only “There are five major human senses.”  Don’t highlight what they are. (Highlighting everything makes highlighting meaningless.)

When you are done highlighting, you will have all your test questions ready.  When you go back to study, read the highlighted sections and try to answer the question.  If you can’t, read the unhighlighted answer to review.  This way, you can only study what you need to review.

3.  Write a short summary of each paragraph next to the paragraph as you read.

This will improve comprehension and make it easier to find information.

4.  Write a short summary of each page on top of the page.

This will improve comprehension and make it easier to find information.

5.  Put a square around proper names and dates.

This will help you find them quickly.

6.  Underline things you want to discuss and write your thoughts next to it.

Don’t worry about how much you write in your books.  Think about it:  you are paying thousands of dollars for your education.  Do you want to sacrifice that for the few dollars you might get at a textbook buy-back counter?  Be smart!  Write in your books!!!

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