One of the greatest challenges students face is adjusting to college reading expectations. Unlike high school, students in college are expected to read more “academic” type of materials in less time and usually recall the information as soon as the next class.
The problem is many students will spend hours reading and have no idea what they just read. Their eyes are moving across the page, but their mind is somewhere else. The end result is wasted time, energy, and frustration . . . and having to read the text again.
Although students are taught how to read at an early age, many are not taught how to actively engage with written text.
Active Reading is applying reading strategies before, during, and after reading a text with the overall objective of increasing comprehension (understanding what was read) and recall (remembering what was read) to save time and effort.
The Secret is in the Pen
One of the ways proficient readers read is with a pen in hand. They know their purpose is to keep their attention on the material by:
- predicting what the material will be about
- questioning the material to further understanding
- determining what’s important
- identifying key vocabulary
- summarizing the material in their own words, and
- monitoring their comprehension (understanding) during and after engaging with the material
Annotating a Text
Review this video about “Learning How to Annotate” to develop active reading strategies:
Review Oberlin College and Conservatory’s “Keeping a Reading Journal” page.
And Dustin Wax’s “Keep an Academic Reading Journal” to develop reading comprehension strategies.