Your goal should be to comprehend the important ideas and significant material in the reading. Begin with a goal for your reading session.
Things to think about when setting your goals:
1. What is the purpose of the assignment-
Understanding the purpose for an assignment is key to planning your reading strategy. Your goals and strategy will differ based on how the reading material fits into the class and how you will use the information from the reading.
2. How will you use the material in class-
Is it to study for an exam- Contribute to discussion- Prepare for lecture- Write a paper-
3. What is the relationship between the reading and other course material-
4. Did the instructor talk about the reading beforehand and explain why it was assigned-
5. Does the reading cover some of the same material as the lectures but in greater detail-
6. Does the reading cover material that the instructor only mentioned briefly or not at all-
7. Is the reading assigned as a counterpoint to viewpoints presented in the lecture or in other readings-
8. How will you use the material in future classes-
9. How will I know when I have learned the material from the reading and am ready to use it effectively when called on to do so-
For most uses, quizzing yourself is the best way to prove that you learned something. Develop questions from what you already know, the clues provided by the structure of the text, and, of course, any questions provided by the instructor. Your goal can be that you will be able to answer the questions that you developed.
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