Tips for Improving Critical Reading Skills
Reading is an essential part of your academic experience. You may notice that some people are faster with reading and comprehending material than others. This is normal! Everyone has a different pace at which they read and comprehend, and everyone has different strategies for how they remember information. Below are some tips to try to improve your reading and comprehension.
- Read Out Loud
This is incredibly helpful for those of us who are auditory learners. Reading the words out loud engages your brain in a different way and allows for some of us to retain information better.
- Take Notes
Taking notes in the margins of a paper or text is very useful if you want to be able to refer back to the concepts you believed to be important while reading.
- Highlight Key Concepts
Highlighting or underlining key concepts helps you to refer back to the reading later. You are more easily able to find the important/relevant content when you refer back to the article. This also helps if you are writing a paper or answering discussion questions, as you can quickly find the information you need.
- Write a Summary
After you finish reading, write a summary of what you read. This could be as simple as on paragraph, or multiple paragraphs depending upon the length of the reading and the kind of information contained in the reading.
Be willing to reread the article, especially if it has difficult vocabulary, topics, or charts and figures to evaluate. This will allow your brain extra time to process the information.
- Read Where You Are
If you sometimes struggle to fit your reading in, try to download the reading to your smartphone or tablet. This way, you can always carry your readings with you and can read whenever or wherever you want.