As I read I am constantly trying to make sure everything is making sense to me. Many times I have to reread for a better understanding. I can remember in third grade my teacher, Miss McClary, taught my class a strategy for reading comprehension. She told us after every paragraph you should ask yourself a series of questions. Who was involved here? What did they do? Was there a problem? How did they or will they fix it? She then told us if we still weren’t sure of one of the answer or we caught ourselves thinking about things other than the readings we should go back and reread. Obviously, now being a junior in college I do not ask my self these questions after every paragraph I read. However, I do have to think about all of those as I am continuously reading.
As a college student my volume of required reading sometimes stretches beyond what I am actually able to read. I constantly find myself wanting to speed read or skim the material because I have procrastinated and don’t have enough time to think about all of them in as much depth as hoped. During these sessions of speed reading I always look at the title so I know the topic that is being discussed. Then I read the first and last sentence of the paragraphs because a lot of the important information is outlined here. Then if there is any bolded or italicized words I read the sentences they are in. If I am not rushing through my readings I have found it to be beneficial to do the above steps anyways and then go through and read it. If you know what you are going to be reading about it is a lot easier to make connections and remember what was stated within the paragraph.
In one of the articles the author talked about another way to sift through all of the material to find the important information is to ask yourself what you think the author wants you to know. I haven’t personally tried this strategy yet but I feel it would be quite beneficial. I frequently forget the purpose of the reading and if you can keep that in mind it can help make connections to your background knowledge.