The Academic Skills Center at Dartmouth has a nice web page that summarizes some of the best strategies to make textbook reading less time-consuming and more effective:
What should strike you about the information there is that you must abandon what you think you already know about how to read a textbook! Reading a textbook is WAY different than how one reads a novel or magazine article. For example:
- Once is not enough. You have to read the material several times, using different methods each time, to really "get" what you are reading.
- You must have the courage to skip parts that don't apply to your goals
- You can read faster, with better comprehension, by simply forcing yourself to read faster
- You do not have to read every word
- It really does matter where you do your reading
. . . and encourage your instructor to consider efficiency of reading when selecting assigned textbooks and other readings in the future!
Stay tuned to this blog for more tips on how to get more out of reading your textbook with less effort.