I have found throughout my college experience that comprehending reading material is very difficult. At the beginning of each semester I put my books of choice into hibernation and begin reading articles from texts that are assigned to me. This doesn’t mean that I am able to comprehend each page that is assigned, but I feel better about myself if I complete the task given to me. I understand that there are certain reasons for assigning these texts, but honestly sometimes I feel that my brain cannot hold any more information about the same thing. Trying to read too many articles about the same information ends up overlapping one another and soon it seems that I cannot distinguish which article said what. Sometimes I will find that while reading I will either be in a daze or highlighting every sentence on the page. A way in which I have benefited while reading is to break the readings into different time periods.
To truly comprehend the text that I am reading I need to take it sentence by sentence. Sometimes I will even read a sentence and then stop and think about what the sentence means. I often find myself rereading passages that I thought I understood, but wouldn’t be able to explain. Sometimes I will even read a chapter, read another chapter, and forget all of the information that I had previously read. I find it very beneficial to take notes on what I read and somewhat translate it into a simpler concept so that I better understand it.
Assignments that really help me to organize and motivate my reading are texts that I have to outline. For example, when preparing for the jigsaw assignment I began reading my chapter early, so that if I needed to go back and reread some of it I could. I found that when pressure is put on me to read, I do. If I know that the knowledge of my classmates is put into my hands, I don’t want to be the reason why they don’t understand the material. I will go the extra length to inform them on what I read. I began by highlighting sentences in sections that I thought summed up what the concept meant and why it was important. I then formulated an outline of the chapter and type the highlighted text into the outline. I thought that this helped to breakdown the chapter and provide the necessary information, while eliminating the blah of the chapter.