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ACStextbook - How Can I Organize My Textbook Reading Or...

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How Can I Organize My Textbook Reading? Or Unraveling The Textbook Maze Often students will ask or say to themselves: "Do I really have to read this whole textbook? Surely my professor doesn't expect me to read the whole thing. After all, he/she doesn't cover all of it during class." There are many differences between high school and college reading assignments. First, there is a greater quantity of material. Secondly, many topics will not be addressed in lecture or they may only be alluded to briefly. Thirdly, the professor doesn't have time to point out the important areas in the book or direct you on how to approach the text. Finally, exam questions probe more deeply than the simple definitions that the author has boldfaced. Hence you, the student, has a responsibility to study/learn information independently. This causes confusion. You may ask: "How can I schedule time to read all of this material? How do I know what is important? What areas of the text should I focus on? What is a realistic amount of reading to do in a one or two hour period? How do I know what is relevant? What should I mark? I've never underlined before." The good news is that research by psychologists and educators has resulted in several plans or strategies by which you can unravel the textbook maze. The first system was developed by Francis Robinson at Ohio State University during World War II. It was developed for the military. Men in the military needed to read manuals and retain information effectively. This method was called SQ3R - Survey, Question, Read, Recite and Review. Because this method was so effective, other plans developed. There is a plan called PROR - Preview, Read, Organize and Review as well as one called Survey, Explore, Review. By now you are probably noticing that there are many similarities among all these plans. Hence, I'm not going to describe a specific plan to you, but I'm going to discuss steps that can be beneficial before, during and after reading parts of a textbook chapter. As you experiment with these strategies, it is my hope that you will
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develop a plan of your own. Perhaps you will use different strategies based on the content of the textbook you're reading. In the videotape which accompanies this text, I'll model some of the thinking processes you might use as you follow these steps. At first glance you may feel that you don't have enough time for this process. However the preview and review process take only a few minutes and
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