Saturday, May 4, 2013

Guest Post on Reading

How to Read Effectively and Efficiently
Have you ever read through a page in a novel or a magazine article only to reach the end and realize you have no idea what you just saw? This is a common problem, and one of the causes is that people simply do not know how to read effectively and efficiently.

Say Each Word
While you do not necessarily have to read aloud to understand the words on the page, you should at least be saying each and every word in your head. Employing this strategy forces you to pay attention to what is written and to not veer off the intended track. After some time, you will probably become so used to this strategy that it happens automatically. Instead of consciously deciding to say the words in your head, you will just start to absorb them.

Pen in Hand
You also want to make sure you are reading with a pen or a highlighter in your hand. When you spot something of major significance, run the highlighter over it so that you know where it is later on. You should also take some notes in the margins to pinpoint specific areas that make you think and that have major relevance. When you choose to highlight words you don't understand, you can go back to a dictionary later to look them up.

Proper Time Management
Perhaps you constantly find yourself racing to finish a novel before book club meets or before your graduate school class begins. Instead of putting yourself under so much pressure, set up a reading schedule for yourself. For example, you might decide to read the first three chapters on Monday, the next three on Wednesday and so on and so forth. By breaking the novel up into smaller chunks, you do not put all of that pressure on yourself to finish. Furthermore, if you are someone who struggles with understanding material, breaking it down into these small pieces can really help with your levels of comprehension.

Open The Door
While some novels might appear to have a very basic story line at first look, you should really consider what is going on in the world outside of the novel. For example, it would be wise to look up the historical context of the novel and to read some criticisms of the piece. Getting an idea of what others think about the work can really help to shed new light on the very text itself. You should also look into discussion groups. If you are not already enrolled in a class, look into joining a local book club. Hearing the perspective of others can really help you to get a sense of what the book is about.

For some people, reading comes naturally, and they have never struggled with it once in their lives. However, for others, reading is a constant battle, and they are almost ready to give up on this endeavor. By following the aforementioned tips, you will really be able to read more effectively and efficiently.

Author Pam Johnson is a psychologist who studies the effects of reading on the brain. She obtained her degree from one of the Best Online Psychology Schools
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