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Improving Reading Comprehension

  • READ
    • Read things more than once. You cannot expect to understand a complicated passage in a text or a story by reading through it once. You will absorb more each time you read it.
  • WRITE
    • Take notes while you are reading. Write out main points on a separate “study sheet”.
  • READ ACTIVELY
    • Underline or highlight key words and phrases as you are reading.
    • Pick out words that are unfamiliar and look them up in the dictionary.
    • Isolate key points or examples that could be used in an essay.
    • Write questions or thoughts in the margins as you read.
  • READ OUT LOUD
    • Reading aloud minimizes distractions and background noise and allows you to focus on what you are reading. Reading aloud will help you to hear and understand what you are reading.
  • THINK IN THOUGHT UNITS
    • Instead of looking at each word as an individual unit, try to group words together into chunks. Eyes move across the page in this manner.
    • Since material is grouped into the brain in chunks, it is put into context by the information that comes just before and after it.
    • When information is read in chunks, the overall meaning is understood and the emphasis is much less on individual sentences.
  • COMPREHEND
    • Don’t just read material, but also seek to understand it.
    • Try to summarize the main point of the story in your own words. Pretend that you are retelling the plot to someone else. This ensures that you have understood the author’s meaning and key points.
    • Answer the questions at the end of the story if there are any.
    • Discuss the story with someone else who has read it.
    • Make your own list of questions. Look at some Sample Question.
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