Why You Shouldn't Read a Textbook Like a Newspaper

People usually read newspapers passively, in order to get the gist of the day’s events. Instead think of your textbook like a museum. Passively walking through a museum won’t give you detailed knowledge of the contents in it and passively running your eyes over the words in a textbook won’t help you really learn the material.

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Instead, your student needs to treat textbook reading like a conversation and use ACTIVE reading. Four ways you can do this are as follows:

(1) Skim to the important material: textbooks usually contain a lot of "filler" information. Students should focus on reading the sections they might be tested over in more detail.

(2) Create questions while you read: questions can be used to quiz yourself later on important information or something you might want to ask your teacher. Using the section headings is great way to create summary questions to explain concepts.

(3) Pay attention to formatting: if it is bold, italicized, in a list, or highlighted it is probably important to know.

(4) Summarize what your read by writing it in your own words: the process of summarizing, formatting thoughts and putting them to paper, creates pathways in the brain for this information to be stored.