1Muscle reading, taking notes, and critical thinking skillsJaimeAchieving student success with muscle reading,taking notes, and critical thinking skillsJonathan JaimeEdward Waters CollegeSLS1321May 5, 2018
2Muscle reading, taking notes, and critical thinking skillsJaimeAbstract“Students need tools for reading at the college or postsecondary level. The Muscle StudyStrategy is a one tool they can experiment with and learn to adapt for many types of text.”[Ken]Picture yourself sitting at a desk, an open book in your hands. Your eyes are open too, andit looks as if you’re reading. Suddenly your head jerks up. You blink. You realize your eyes havebeen scanning the page for 10 minutes, and you can’t remember a single thing you have read. Orpicture this: You’ve had a hard day. You were up at 6 a.m. to get the kids ready for school. A co-worker called in sick and you missed your lunch trying to do your job and his. You picked up thekids, then had to shop for dinner. Dinner was late, of course, and the kids were grumpy. Finally,you got to your books at 8 p.m., and you began plodding through something called the “equitymethod of accounting for common stock investments.” You tell yourself, “I am preparing for thefuture,” as you claw your way through two paragraphs and begin the third.Suddenly everything in the room looks different. Your head is resting on your elbow,which is resting on the equity method of accounting. The clock reads 11:30 p.m. Say good-bye tothree hours. Sometimes, the only difference between a sleeping pill and a textbook is that thetextbook doesn’t have a warning on the label about operating heavy machinery.
3Muscle reading, taking notes, and critical thinking skillsJaime“Muscle Reading” is a technique you can use to avoid mental mini-vacations and reducethe number of unscheduled naps during study time, even after a hard day. More than that, MuscleReading is a way to decrease effort and struggle by increasing energy and skill. Once you learnthis technique, you can actually spend less time on your reading and get more out of it.This is not to say you can avoid all work and still challenge yourself in your education. MuscleReading might even look like more work at first. Effective textbook reading is an active, energy-consuming, sit-on-the-edge-of-your-seat business. That’s why this strategy is called MuscleReading.The key idea behind Muscle Reading is that your textbooks have something you want.They offer knowledge and valuable information. Sometimes the value is so buried that extractingit requires skill and energy.Muscle reading is a three-phase technique you can use to accomplish that extraction. Each of thethree phases has three steps. To assist your recall of all nine steps, memorize three shortsentences: pry out questions (preview, outline, question),root up answers (read, underline,answers), and recite, review, and review again[Ell17]. Take a moment to invent images for each