Textbook Reading Hacks: Read/write Learners

Students who learn best from reading and writing seem to have all the advantages when it comes to learning from books, but there are ways to build on the skills you have and make your learning even more effective.

When reviewing concepts in your textbook, don’t simply rely on a single reading of the text to suffice. Start with one reading, then write out a summary of what you learned on that page. Use terms, examples, and sentences to help enhance your materials so that you can review your notes more effectively later on.

When taking notes in class, the temptation is to write down everything you can, and that’s good, but keep in mind that your hands probably don’t move as fast as your brain’s processing power. With that in mind, I’d suggest that you stick to key words, then go through your notes later that day. When you review, write out a paragraph over each concept. You build in extra review skills by doing this, which ultimately helps you retain information.

One additional tip: blend your notes. As you read your textbook and take notes on the concepts the authors present, leave some space between summaries you write (or write ONLY on one side of the page). When you review your in-class notes and expand them, fill in the gaps (literally) on the page when concepts align. You can also write on one side of the page for the textbook and another side of the page for in-class concepts.

I hope these tips help you. You’ll notice that with this style of learning, I focus a lot on sentences, rather than on bullet points. That’s part of being a Read-write learner.

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