To be effective, reading has to be active.Make a list of questions for which the book/chapter/article might provide answers. As you read further, add to your list of questions, going into finer detail.
This will help you to:
- maintain your interest/concentration;
- develop your understanding of the material;
- relate the material to what you already know;
- relate your reading to what you need to learn.
Use the SQ3R technique to build the habit of reading actively:
Survey – Question – Read – Recall – Review
Look quickly over what you are going to read. Notice things such as the title and any section headings, pictures, charts or graphs, introductory or concluding paragraphs. On a quick scan of the text. Do any words stand out?
Write out questions that your survey has brought to mind. Have any words or topics stood out? What would you like to find out about them? If you are reading to get information on a particular topic, what aspects of that did your survey suggest you could learn about?
Now read the text, actively trying to find the answers to your questions. When you find all the answers (or establish that there is no answer), stop reading.
Read through your questions and try to recall all the answers that were given in the text and note whether any of them were not answered.
Your review can involve re-reading to check that you recalled correctly, relating the content of this reading to your other research, or discussing the content with someone else.