Why It’s All So Important
Whether you’re in high school or college, reading, listening and taking notes are essential to any classroom environment. Not only in the sense that it helps you pass a class, but it also can serve to help you retain information and become more involved in the subject you are studying (but mostly, it helps you pass the class!).
All of these elements go hand in hand, and all are equally as important as the other. They’re also very simple, and hopefully this guide will teach you how to take advantage of what you already know about them and better your abilities.
That being said, everyone has their own way of doing these things, and there is no right or wrong way. I’m going to simply give you one option that has worked for me for years. I hope it helps you out, too!
Reading is more important than you think. Textbooks and articles can be boring, but they’re pretty essential to passing your class and retaining the information you’re going to need to know. Reading is also great when you need to write papers,
and it’s generally a good skill to know for when you get a job and when you’re out in the real world dealing with things.
It’s a pretty basic concept we all learned at an early age: I’m assuming if you’re on in the University you know how to read, so we don’t have to cover that!
However, when dealing with an academic environment, there are ways to read that optimize on time and that get you the information you need without all the fluff that you don’t. Your mind can only hold in so much information, so it’s beneficial to learn what to retain and what to throw away. While in part this is something that comes with experience, there are some tips I can offer you that might help you along a little bit.
Don’t highlight EVERYTHING!
Highlighting is undoubtedly important when reading. Not only does it allow for quick reference when you need to go back to the books, but it keeps you at attention so your mind doesn’t drift off as you read. Which means you’re reading, but you most likely don’t remember a thing you just read (which is a waste of your time). However, many students have the problem of highlighting too much, and they suffer because of it. If everything is highlighted, how are you supposed to pick out the important stuff? There’s no way that everything on that page is important. So learn to highlight well.
Here are some things to highlight:
- Important documents
- Major political conflicts
- Political groups
- Major social/economic conflicts
Keep in mind when highlighting things like movements, political conflicts, political groups, and social/economic conflicts that you should really only highlight a brief description of each. Again, some of it comes with experience, but a good rule is to highlight as little as possible. That means that when you go back, only the most important information is there to leap out at you and you don’t have to waste your time re-sifting through the book.
If you don’t understand something, read it again.
Believe me, I know it’s a pain to have to read again. You really just want to get out of the book and start to have fun. But it’s to your benefit to go over something again if you don’t quite understand what’s going on
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