Reading Comprehension

5 Ways To Improve Reading Comprehension

Image courtesy of Isadore Weiner/Illinois State Museum

Written by Vincent Kovar

We’ve all had that sensation of reading a selection of text then, only moments later, not remember anything we’ve just read. Sometimes we can read something over and over but never really feel like we “get it.”

Reading comprehension is crucial for every profession and lifestyle. Whether you’re reading a repair manual or the latest business best-seller, comprehension tools add value to the time spent over the page.

Here are 5 quick strategies for increasing your reading comprehension, remembering material and sparking new ideas.

Pre-reading predictions

Before reading the article or chapter, create a three column chart.

In the left-hand column, write down everything you think that the reading will cover and what conclusions it will arrive at. Look at the title, the abstract or summary (if included) and the chapter or section headings. Do some quick online research about the writer and try to get a picture of the shape of his or her ideas. Make your list of predictions as detailed as you can including what topics the writer will introduce and what evidence they might present.

Read the text over once and make notations of what the writer actually included in the middle column.

Compare and contrast the predictions in the first two columns of your chart. What was new, different or unexpected? Try to explain the differences between the first two columns in the third column.

Chunk summaries

As you read, try to boil each paragraph down to 1-2 sentences (grammar doesn’t count here) written in your own words. Once you have finished a section or sub-section, summarize your summaries for that entire chunk before going on to the next.

Compare your summaries with those of a classmate. As the old saying goes, “four eyes are better than two.” Do you agree or disagree on the meaning of each paragraph?

Make notes of unanswered questions and either bring them to class or post them in the class forum for discussion and further study.

3-step post reading review

After you’ve read the entire chapter or article, create a 3-step review.

  • step one: write a summary of 100-150 words that describes what the author said in the selection. What was his or her thesis? Use the short paragraph-by-paragraph chunk-summaries to guide you. In other words, make an abstract of what the writer set out to tell you.
  • step two: jot down another 100-150 words that describes why this material is important. Think about why it was important to the author. Also write down why it was important to you personally. Is it important to the planet or a specific community? What are the consequences of ignoring this information? What are the risks of adopting the author’s viewpoint?
  • step three: determine how the author structured their writing. What type of reasoning did he or she use: cause-effect, model building, induction/deduction, or deconstruction? What types of rhetorical techniques did the writer use to convince you the thesis is correct? Which parts rely on ethos (ethics)? Which parts are mostly pathos (emotional appeal) and which parts are logos (logical)?

Describe the reading to someone else

Using your own words, describe what you’ve been reading to a family member, friend or classmate. Use all the materials you created so far to help you but use language and ideas that you think your listener will best understand.

Include any thoughts that start popping into your mind and discuss how the information has an impact on your life. Or, if the information does not affect you in any way, theorize why not and what it would take for that subject to have benefits or consequences in your life.

Make a mind-map

One of the best ways to cement a set of ideas and thoughts in your mind is to translate it into a different medium or shape. Pour all your summaries, thoughts and reactions into a graphical map. You don’t need to write everything down in detail, just include enough notes so that you understand the relationship that each piece of information has to other pieces. There are many shapes of graphical maps try a few different ones and notice which work best for you and which work best for various kinds of information.

The best news is that even if you use all five techniques described here, it really won’t take more time than other forms of study. Improving your reading skills will make the overall experience both faster and more enjoyable.

Vincent Kovar is a writer, instructor, editor, and entrepreneur based in Seattle, Washington. An Adjunct Faculty member at both Antioch University and the University of Phoenix, Vincent writes about online colleges for eLearners.com

Don’t Forget To Follow PickTheBrain on Twitter!

Related Articles:

10 Tips From The Masters

How To Write Faster, Better, Easier


GET THE BOOK BY
ERIN FALCONER!

Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

56 Responses to 5 Ways To Improve Reading Comprehension

  1. Obituary says:

    Hi! Do you know if they make any plugins to help with Search Engine Optimization?
    I’m trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted keywords but I’m
    not seeing very good gains. If you know of any please share.
    Many thanks!

  2. Stephenpep says:

    online viagra prescription buy viagra when will viagra be generic

  3. JamesHib says:

    over the counter viagra viagra for sale mail order viagra

  4. KevinUsaby says:

    price of cialis cialis taking l-citrulline and cialis together

  5. DanielNug says:

    canadian online pharmacy viagra viagra low price viagra canada

  6. Wallyblula says:

    cheap medications online ed drug prices erectile dysfunction medication

  7. Wallyblula says:

    foods for ed drugs and medications pet antibiotics without vet prescription

  8. Stevendub says:

    order viagra online buy viagra generic viagra discount

  9. Stevendub says:

    viagra online usa generic viagra viagra over the counter usa 2020

  10. Stevendub says:

    viagra 100mg price buy viagra generic otc viagra

  11. Stevendub says:

    viagra coupons generic viagra online canadian pharmacy generic viagra

  12. Danielzef says:

    ed medicine ed natural remedies diabetes and ed

  13. Danielzef says:

    best natural cure for ed cheap ed pills viagra without a doctor prescription

  14. Danielzef says:

    aspirin and ed generic ed pills cialis without a doctor’s prescription

  15. Danielzef says:

    medications online ED Pills cat antibiotics without pet prescription

  16. I’m not sure why but this web site is loading incredibly slow for me.

    Is anyone else having this issue or is it a issue on my end?
    I’ll check back later and see if the problem still exists.

  17. Danielzef says:

    drugs to treat ed generic ed pills ed meds pills drugs

  18. Danielzef says:

    errection problems Cheap Erection Pills buy anti biotics without prescription

  19. NathanHoake says:

    cialis pills buy cialis online cialis canada

  20. NathanHoake says:

    cialis coupons 2019 tadalafil cialis for daily use

  21. WilliamRox says:

    erectional dysfunction herbal ed best ed treatment

  22. WilliamRox says:

    medication for ed dysfunction ed meds online without doctor prescription erectile dysfunction treatment

  23. Roberttop says:

    tadalafil online buy tadalafil online

  24. Roberttop says:

    canadian pharmacy generic drugs from india

  25. Roberttop says:

    cheapest sildenafil sildenafil pharmacy

  26. 17716 249966you use a great blog here! do you wish to earn some invite posts on my small weblog? 743341

  27. 252218 553390Im not that much of a internet reader to be honest but your sites actually good, keep it up! Ill go ahead and bookmark your website to come back later. All of the greatest 18917

  28. StephenNup says:

    viagra price viagra prescription online viagra cialis

  29. 323765 147079hi there, your site is discount. Me thank you for do the job 164442

  30. RobinSeike says:

    is ed reversible canada pharmacy online prescription drugs without doctor approval

  31. RobinSeike says:

    coffee with cialis cialis online cialis coupons printable

  32. RobinSeike says:

    drug prices buy Zithromax cure for ed

  33. RobinSeike says:

    buy viagra online discount viagra viagra from india

  34. RobinSeike says:

    overcoming ed online canadian pharmacy best otc ed pills

  35. RobinSeike says:

    over the counter ed drugs online pharmacy canada otc ed drugs

  36. RobinSeike says:

    best non prescription ed pills canadian pharmacy online drugs that cause ed

  37. RobinSeike says:

    100mg viagra viagra sale where can i buy viagra

  38. RobinSeike says:

    ed clinics buy Nolvadex ed medication online

  39. RobinSeike says:

    best ed pills non prescription meds online without doctor prescription pet meds without vet prescription

  40. RobinSeike says:

    canada viagra viagra how much is viagra

  41. RobinSeike says:

    pain meds online without doctor prescription canadian online pharmacy drugs for ed

  42. Traviserony says:

    errectile disfunction: ed natural treatment ed dysfunction treatment

  43. Traviserony says:

    cheap pills online: homepage medications for ed

  44. LarryCague says:

    viagra over the counter walmart where to get viagra goodrx viagra

  45. LarryCague says:

    where to get cialis sample buy cialis online canadian safe alternatives to viagra and cialis

  46. LarryCague says:

    buy viagra roman viagra walmart viagra

  47. LarryCague says:

    does cialis lower blood pressure cheap cialis generic cialis no doctor’s prescription

  48. LarryCague says:

    male enhancement pills buy cialis in canada online pharmacy medications

  49. LarryCague says:

    best price for generic viagra on the internet canadian pharmacies shipping usa cause of ed

  50. LarryCague says:

    ed medications comparison canadian online pharmacies ed pills otc

  51. BVS – Biblioteca Virtual en Salud – Honduras.

  52. Wigs are also called righteous hair, which will make you high-spirited haha.

  53. あなたが地元の店やオンラインサイトから現実的なダッチワイフを購入している間、あなたは良いブランドを選ぶ必要があります。 有名なブランドは、自社製品により良い製品と保証を提供します。 高級 ダッチワイフ

  54. UJA1076TW/3V3,118 is available. We are distributor of NXP Semiconductors / Freescale UJA1076TW/3V3,118. Buy UJA1076TW/3V3,118 IC SBC CAN HS 3.3V 32HTSSOP.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.