TEN READING STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESS IN COLLEGE1.Personal AnnotationsWe all naturally make personal associations with our reading material.However, one person’sassociations are usually quite different from those of someone else. Recording the associations you make witha reading selection lets you “own” the essay, so to speak.It allows you to connect the author’s ideas to yourown experiences. To perform this strategy, make notes in the margin that relate some of your specificmemories to the details in this essay.Be prepared to explain the connection between your notes and the factsin the essay.ExampleBut the reason I drive the two hundred miles year after yearis the bookstore. Thebuilding is tall, a beautiful pink brick. The sign says,O. BriskyBooksOld Used RareBought and SoldOut of Print Search ServiceEven before you go inside, you can smell the old, used, and rare books. On sunny days, Mr.Brisky arranges a collection of books on a table on the sidewalk. There are books in thewindows and stacks of books on the floor just inside the entrance. From an open back doorthe misty green light of Micanopy shines into the dust. Tendrils of wisteriahave crept inthrough the doorway and are stealthily making their way toward the religion and philosophysection.
2.Think AloudAs we read and make meaning out of the author’s words, we put a string of words together on a literallevel, bring in any implications the author suggests, think about how the ideas relate to one another, and keepthe process going until the entire essay makes sense.These are focused thoughts that will help you processthe author’s writing. On another level, however, we also stray from the essay in a wide variety of ways—thinking about chores we need to do, calls we forgot to return, and plans we are looking forward to on theweekend.These are random ideas that are only loosely related to the reading.As you might suspect, focusedreading is the most productive, but you can teach yourself to apply even your random ideas toward a betterunderstanding of your reading material.To do this strategy, stop and “think aloud” about what is on yourmind throughout the text.Point out places that are confusing to you, connections that you make, specificquestions you have, related information you know, and personal experiences you associate with the text.Inthis way, you are able to hear what your mind does (both focused and random) as you read.ExampleBut the reason I drive the two hundred miles year after year [I don’t think I drive thatmuch for any reason all year long] is the bookstore. [Really? What could be so great about abookstore? Sounds like more school work to me.] The building is tall, a beautiful pink brick.