I am not alone when I say that I expect you to read the assigned chapter(s) before you come to class. Now I know that many of you will say, but you don’t teach us anything from the book so why should I read or what you say in class makes so much sense, I don’t need to read. But this is not true! You need to read and doing so will help you do better in class- the reason is simple, I expect you to read and I assume that since you have read, you understand the information. I also assume that if you have any questions, you will ask me. With those assumptions, I then take the information that was covered in the book and build on it. Rarely will I cover what you were required to read since the book is written in such an easy to digest fashion, instead, I try to expand on that information and show you how to utilize it. So that brings up another point, I know that many of you have never read a textbook before.
So years ago I came up with a formula that breaks down a successful way for you to read your college textbooks:
1. Start with the summary! Every chapter has a summary at the end and this is a nice way to find out exactly what you are supposed to be learning in this chapter.
· Highlight what you think is important.
2. Take notes on the summary. Take anywhere from ¼ to 1/3 of a sheet of notebook paper and take notes on what you think is important in the summary.
· Do not copy the entire summary
· Write your notes in your own words, do not copy things word for word (of course definitions are the exception)
3. Start reading the chapter from the beginning.
Go through the entire chapter, highlighting what you think is important.
· Make sure you highlight at least one thing under each heading.
· I recommend having several different color highlighters so you can differentiate between definitions, theories or important information.
4. Take notes on what you read.
You should not take more than 2 pages of notes for each chapter, if you take more notes; you are copying too much down.
· Again do not copy things word for word, put everything in your own words- of course definitions are the exception.
5. Go to class. The best way to solidify what you have just read is to go to class and get involved in the discussion.
· Don’t forget to take notes in class too; this will help you to remember more accurately what was said.
So Let’s Practice