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Textbook Reading


I find it difficult to keep my mind on what I'm reading. ... advantage in being prepared for your exams and reduces the need to cram. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Textbook Reading

Textbook Reading
Presented by Chris Kardol, M.S.W Learning
Consultant Study Skills Program
Wilfrid Laurier University Counselling Services
Workshop Outline
  • Reading Self-Assessment
  • Introduction
  • Organizational Tips
  • Active Reading
  • PQ3R (Preview, Question, Read, Reflect, Review)
  • Review Questions

Reading Self-Assessment
  • Check each statement that applies to you
  • Im unsure of how to approach textbook reading.
  • I find it difficult to keep my mind on what Im
  • I get sleepy and lose concentration after 10
    minutes or so, because Im so bored.
  • I rarely remember what Ive read.

Self-assessment contd
  • I often have to go back over words or
    paragraphs Ive just read.
  • I try to read whole textbook chapters without
    taking a break.
  • I find it hard to decide which are the main
    ideas in textbook chapters so I try to read
  • Im often completely overwhelmed with how much
    reading Im responsible for.

You are not alone
  • If youve checked all or most of these statements
    you are not alone. Many students experience these
    reading challenges. This workshop is designed to
    help you find new ways to handle these

Read to learn
  • In this presentation you will learn how to read
    your textbook in such a way that you are
    maximizing your study time. Doesnt this sound
    more promising than simply seeing the words but
    your mind being a million miles away?

One step at a time
  • This presentation contains a lot of information.
    In the same way you would read your text, you
    might choose to read a section at a time in order
    to digest the information.
  • Dont try to take on too many changes at once.
    Rather, choose one or two ideas that appeal to
    you and try these out. When you feel successful
    with these, try others.

Reading Challenges in University
  • texts are loaded with many facts and ideas
  • unfamiliar and specialized technical
  • many abstract rather than concrete ideas
  • time constraints due to multiple demands

Organizational Tips
  • First lets look at eight general strategies to
    help you get organized and make the most of the
    time you have to read.
  • Remember, everyone learns differently so its up
    to you to decide which strategies might work for

  • Know your on times. What time of the day do
    you have the most energy and ability to focus?
    Do the majority of reading during this time.
  • Break down your reading task. Divide the chapter
    into readable chunks. A forty-page chapter is
    probably best read in four chunks of ten pages

  • Set reading goals. Prioritize, and then plan
    which reading assignments to complete first. Be
    flexible with your time based on the level of
  • Find your ideal environment. Find a place where
    you can concentrate without distractions, e.g.,
    roommates, internet, telephone.

  • Take breaks. Your concentration and comprehension
    will improve if you read for about 30-minute
    chunks with short breaks in between.
  • Read the chapter before the lecture. This will
    help you build background on the topic and take
    better notes.

  • Monitor your comprehension. Stop to check your
    understanding of the material at regular
    intervals. If you dont get it, reread it.
  • Have a dictionary or thesaurus handy to look up
    the meaning of unfamiliar terms. Write out a list
    of commonly used terms that you can refer to.

Q. What exactly is Active Reading? A.
Active reading involves a series of steps that
has the reader become involved with the text. The
goal is to really grasp what is written and to
understand and learn from the text.
Active Reading
Active Reading
  • Q. Why read actively when it seems to require
    more time and effort?
  • A. It will take longer but there is a payoff.
    This time and effort sets the stage for greater
    understanding and learning. This gives you a
    significant advantage in being prepared for your
    exams and reduces the need to cram.

Many active reading methods have been devised
but they are all similar. Presented here is one
method called PQ3R ( Preview, Question, Read,
Reflect and Review). Each of these steps will be
described but its up to you to decide which of
these to use.
PQ3R Preview
  • This step takes little time and effort up to
    five minutes. The purpose is to
  • familiarize yourself with the material
  • build background and interest
  • notice key information

PQ3R Preview
  • Read chapter title, think about what the chapter
    might contain and what you already know.
  • Read introduction, look at headings and
    subheadings, glance at pictures, charts and
    graphs these emphasize main points.
  • Read chapter summary, briefly look at the
    end-of-chapter questions.

Try It
  • preview a chapter
  • write down any information that you picked up
    about the chapter
  • read entire chapter
  • note how the preview affected your ability to
    read the chapter

PQ3R Question
  • The purpose is to generate questions about what
    you are about to read.
  • This step helps you anticipate whats ahead and
    to predict and pay attention to key points.

PQ3R Question
  • Turn the headings of each section into questions.
  • Example PROTEINS What are proteins? Why are
    proteins important? How are proteins used?
  • Jot these questions in the margins or take notes.
  • As you are reading, look for answers to these

PQ3R Question
  • you can use questions at the end of the chapter
    for ideas
  • formulating questions forces you to think about
    what you are about to read and pay attention to
    the main points

PQ3R Read
  • Break your reading into sections, ensuring that
    you understand what youve read before moving on.
  • The length of the section will depend on the
    degree of difficulty of the text
  • (a rough guideline is several paragraphs to 10

PQ3R Read
  • Read section by section, picking out main ideas
    and supporting details. Adjust your reading speed
    to the level of difficulty.
  • Make associations with your general knowledge and
    with other course information.

PQ3R Read
  • Rephrase a section in your own words
  • Ask yourself what was that about? or what are
    the main ideas here?
  • Paraphrasing achieves two important goals
  • you are monitoring your understanding of the
  • you are putting the information into long-term

PQ3R Read
  • Record key ideas so you dont have to reread the
    chapter later. Here are four methods
  • Add key words and/or brief notes in the margin.
    Structure this information into a meaningful
    framework that connects ideas and topics.
  • Underline and/or highlight. Read first, then go
    back to highlight main ideas. Avoid excessive

PQ3R Read
  • Make summary notes. Put these in your own
    words. Read a full page before summarizing to
    help you avoid taking too many notes.
  • Use diagrams or concept maps to illustrate main
    ideas and relationships between them. Especially
    effective for visual learners (refer to the VARK
    Questionaire study skills handout on learning

PQ3R Reflect
  • The purpose of reflecting is to think about what
    you are reading. This involves questioning,
    analyzing and evaluating ideas and concepts. This
    is why critical thinking is a useful skill to
    develop. For further information refer to the
    study skills handout critical thinking.
  • Make associations to what you already know by
    creating images and examples to solidify

PQ3R Review
  • The purpose of a review
  • To ensure understanding of the material and to
    begin storing the information into long-term
  • To save time when preparing for exams due to
    greater familiarity with the material.

PQ3R Review
  • Summarize key points. Write down approximately
    three important points from each section.
  • Recall Information. Using the headings as a
    guide, cover the preceding text and try to recall
    what you have read.
  • Test yourself with the questions at the end of
    the chapter or predict questions that might
    appear on a test.

Review Questions
  • You are invited to take this review quiz to test
    how much information you picked up in this
    presentation. The answers can be found in the
    presentation in the order in which they are

Review Questions
  • Identify one way to get yourself organized to
  • Approximately how long might you read before
    taking a short break?
  • Is it better to read the chapter before or after
    the lecture?
  • What is Active Reading?
  • What is the purpose of doing a preview?

Review Questions
  • Identify one way to record ideas while reading.
  • Is it better to highlight while you are reading
    for the first time or to go back and highlight
    after you have read?
  • Name one review strategy.
  • What does the Q stand for in PQ3R? What does the
    first R stand for?
  • Which topic/handout might you refer to get ideas
    on how to think/reflect on what you are reading?

For additional information on reading
strategies please refer to the handouts that can
be printed from our website. You can also book a
study skills appointment to discuss any of the
strategies covered here or to discuss other study
skills areas you are concerned about.
More tools...
Where to Find Us
We are located in the Student Services Bldg.,
across the hall from Health Services. Our
telephone number is 884-0710 ext. 2338.
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