College Success Tip #10
Reading
 
What is reading? 
Reading in college involves interpreting all written texts relating to classes.  Have you ever finished reading something only to realize that you cannot recall anything that you just read?  Did your mind take a mini-vacation?  Do you have a reading strategy for understanding assigned readings that are not interesting and not easy?  Some techniques and links below will be helpful in this area. 
 
Why is reading important? 
Reading is an essential part of learning in a college setting, and reading critically and actively promotes success.  Also, in The Community College Experience, Amy Baldwin notes, “Lifelong learning is accomplished by reading on a regular basis.” 
 
Examples of reading strategies
The SQR3 method is an effective way to read dense material like an assigned chapter in a text. 
  1. Survey title, headings, sub-headings, images, and the first and last sentence of each paragraph.
  2. Question what you are reading: who? when? what? where? and why?
  3. Read the entire chapter, taking notes as you read. 
  4.  Recite what the chapter was about.
  5. Review by reading the chapter again.
Muscle Reading is another effective way to read dense material.
Before you read
  1. Preview
  2.  Outline
  3. Question
While you read
  1. Read
  2. Underline
  3. Answer
After you read
  1. Recite
  2. Review
  3. Review again
The OK5R is a similar reading strategy:
  1.  Overview
  2. Key ideas
  3. Read
  4.  Record
  5.  Recite
  6. Review
  7. Reflect
Tips for reading
  1. Keep a dictionary nearby as you read.
  2. Read as much as possible, including reading for pleasure.
Internal links
External links
  1. Dartmouth’s Academic Skills Center has a useful webpage with several handouts on it calledReading Your Textbooks Effectively and Efficiently
Sources:
  1. The Community College Experience by Amy Baldwin (Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2005).
  2. Cornerstone: Building on Your Best, 4th Ed., by Robert M. Sherfield, Rhonda J. Montgomery, and Patricia G. Moody (Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2005).
  3. Becoming a Master Student, 10th Ed., by Dave Ellis (Houghton Mifflin Company, 2003).
  4.  Study Guides and Strategies, http://www.studygs.net/index.htm.
  5. Dartmouth’s Academic Skills Center, http://www.dartmouth.edu/~acskills/success/index.html.