Reading and Notemaking

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READING AND NOTE-MAKING AT UNIVERSITYnotes

Our “Reading and Note-making” materials are thorough and will help you improve your reading skills, prioritize your readings, and choose an effective note-making and review strategy to help you remember what you read.

Looking for something short? Read our quick tips to improve your reading skills.

Are you a graduate student? Check out Critical Reading for Graduate Students.

In this section:

  • Quick Tips
  • Reading and Note-making for Undergraduate Students
  • Critical Reading for Graduate Students
  • Strategies and Tools

Quick TipsUndergraduate ModuleGraduate ModuleReading self-assessment, learning styles and approaches, and concentrationReading speed, skimming, levels of thinking, and critical reading checklistSQ4R, ConStruct, Multipass, Cornell System, mind maps and recorded notesGuided questions and strategies for research papers, assumptions, arguments and common logical fallaciesCritical reading checklist, note-making strategies, memory and music, and staying on task

QUICK TIPS

TO IMPROVE READING SKILLS

1. Set yourself up for reading: quiet place, turn off your technology, good lighting, a block of time. Lying on your soft, warm bed may lead to sleep- – not attentive reading.

2. Determine your reason for reading:

  • in textbooks, it may be for clarification of material in the lecture
  • in scientific journals, it may be procedural details and results
  • in case studies, it may be to identify common themes and subsequent outcomes
  • in literature, it may be to track particular language patterns

3. Preview material to get a “big picture’ perspective.

4. Analyze the structure of a textbook for clues regarding main topics/subtopics/details/definitions/examples. The “Preface” may give important information about HOW to read and use the text.

5. Think of questions as you read, to stay awake and be more mentally involved.

6. Reflect on material when you finish a section: use your own words to summarize the main ideas.

7. Make notes at the end of a section, or go back and highlight only the key ideas.

8. Become aware of how long it takes to attentively read different kinds of material, and set realistic targets about how much you can read in a set amount of time. Every course or source may be different.

9. Increase your reading speed by focusing on phrases or groups of words (NOT every individual word) and learning the new vocabulary.

10. Develop the habit of reading. Allocate regular time for each course.

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READING AND NOTE-MAKING MODULE

FOR UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS

1.  Active reading and note-making

Introduction
Reading Myths
Setting up for reading
Being aware of yourself as a reader
Strategies based on content

2.  Reading skills

I. Speed
I. Speed
Strategies to improve your speed
II. Comprehension
Active reading and comprehension
Strategies for active reading and comprehension
III. Retention
Strategies for reading retention
1. Note-making
2. Cue or flash cards
3. Study Groups
4. Weekly review
5. Reading out loud
6. Recording Lectures

3. Self-Assessment Questions

Self-Assessment
Self-Assessment and Next Steps

CRITICAL READING MODULE

FOR GRADUATE STUDENTS

Self-reflection and introduction
Self-reflection and introduction
Being aware of yourself as a reader
I. Speed
Myths about rapid reading
What slows you down and what speeds you up
Speed strategies
II. Comprehension
Types of Comprehension
Comprehension strategies
III. Critical reading
Critical reading
1. Underlying Assumptions
2. The argument
3. Evaluating the argument
Avoiding logical fallacies and reading critically
IV. Retention
Retention
Retention Strategies
V. Volume
How to deal with all the reading?
VI. Focus and Concentration
Tips for focus and concentration
VII. Reducing Stress
Tips for reducing stress

STRATEGIES AND TOOLS

FOR READING AND NOTE-MAKING AT UNIVERSITY

*indicates primary interest to graduate students

Reading self-assessment
Learning styles and approaches to reading
Improve your concentration

STRATEGIES AND TOOLS

FOR READING AND NOTE-MAKING AT UNIVERSITY

*indicates primary interest to graduate students

Increase your reading speed: Reading speed test
Speed reading: Using a pacer
Skimming: a checklist
Levels of thinking
Four levels of questions
Critical reading checklist

STRATEGIES AND TOOLS

FOR READING AND NOTE-MAKING AT UNIVERSITY

*indicates primary interest to graduate students

SQ4R method
*Using SQ4R to read a research paper
ConStruct procedure = concept + structuring
Multipass Method
The Cornell system
Study skills using graphic organizers
Note-making with mind maps
Why you should read aloud
Creating notes from a recorded lecture

STRATEGIES AND TOOLS

FOR READING AND NOTE-MAKING AT UNIVERSITY

*indicates primary interest to graduate students

*Using guiding questions to assist in reading a research paper
*How to read research papers
*Underlying assumptions
*The Argument
*Good and bad arguments
*Some common logical fallacies

STRATEGIES AND TOOLS

FOR READING AND NOTE-MAKING AT UNIVERSITY

*indicates primary interest to graduate students

*Critical reading checklist
*Note-making strategies
*Super memory and music
*How to stay on-task while reading
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First photo courtesy of melanie innis [sic] and second photo courtesy of Michael Arrighi under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 license.