Reading tips from UIC language students
Before starting to read: Heading link
Before starting to read:
- Go to a quiet area where you’ll be able to concentrate
- Bring something to help you mark your place: a pen or pencil, sticky notes, and different color highlighters (if it’s online, print it out! Or use a PDF annotator like Adobe).
- Read the questions first so you know what to focus on: you never have to understand every word, just the main ideas.
Starting to read:
Focus on the questions as you read.
Look for context clues to get a general grasp of the text
- Images associated with the text
- Titles and subtitles
- Any “blurbs” or summaries provided
- Look for key “anchors” to determine what you already know
Keep a notebook by your side to jot down any thoughts or questions that come to mind
Identify words you don’t know and write them down
Look up the unknown words that interfere with your reading.
- Pay attention to the multiple meanings of some words
- Refrain from looking up every unknown word
Mark up the reading (highlight, circle, annotate, etc.)
Write a short sentence for each paragraph to describe the general idea of that section of the text
Ask yourself questions while you read
- anticipate questions your instructor might ask on an exam or in a discussion
- monitor your reactions to the reading
Check with your instructor to see what (if any) supplementary materials they recommend
Summarize the info after reading
Jot down major themes
Revisit and reread