Efficient Reading

This is for articles that you intend to read only once.

I. PREVIEW: Get information about the article. Attempt a tentative mental outline of 1) the main idea and 2) the ideas that are presented to develop it.

1.       Predict the topic by using indicators (title, illustrations).

2.      Discover the main point: read the abstract (if it’s provided), then the first and last paragraphs, with the purpose of predicting the article's main point.

3.      Discover the article’s overall structure and content: Read sub-headings if they’re provided. (If they’re not provided, go to step 4.)

4.      Set a goal: “After I read this, I’m going to try to make a mental outline of it.” (See III.)

II. DEEP VIEW: Understand the general content and development of the main and major points by reading the entire chapter or article.

·         Use ACTIVE READING to build a mental outline as you read. Identify main and major points: try to see ideas and details in relation to their super-ordinate and subordinate ideas, in order to understand and remember them better. (Good readers say that during reading they semi-consciously 1) associate details that they are reading with previously stated points and other details that they have already read, and 2) semi-consciously predict answers to questions that are raised in their mind as they are reading.)

·         Use context clues to guess the meaning of new lexicals.

III. REVIEW: Think back on the article and build a general outline in your mind.

1.       After reading once, scan the article to confirm the accuracy of the mental outline that you have built.

2.      (In class:) Without looking at the article, write a two- or three-level outline or a summary on a separate sheet of paper.

3.      (In class:) Confirm the accuracy of your outline or summary by comparing it with the article. Make corrections.