Over the years, I have developed my own strategy for reading. It involves several steps that weed out unimportant material and focuses on the important details of a text. My first step is to read titles. If what I am reading is a text book or something scholarly, I look at every heading possible. I take mental notes of these headings as things that I need look for while doing the more in depth reading. If what I am reading is a novel or story, I pay attention to the main title and then read the back cover. My next step is glance at what words may be bolded or italicized. These words are usually important or must-know terms for the text. I usually write these words down so that I can check them off as I read. This helps me make sure that I know all of the vocabulary upon finishing the reading. If this is a novel, then I skim through the dialogue. This helps me see what the important conversations are. Then I actually sit down and read the text. I use my notes from before about headings, titles, and important words to direct my thinking as I read. I usually take additional notes as I come across these ideas.
The main conversation I have while reading actually comes at the end of the reading. After completing the above steps, I always reflect upon what I have read. I usually ask myself, "Have I found everything I needed to find?" or, "Have I covered all the notes I took before actually reading?" From there, I check my knowledge with all of my note to make sure that I have mastered all that I need to. I usually wrap this up with asking myself if I have any questions. If not, then I consider my reading completed. If so, then I go back and reread to answer my questions.
To know what ideas are important from a text, I usually look at the titles and headings first for main ideas. Then I look at different-printed words as important vocabulary. After finishing the reading, I always recheck with end notes or text summary to make sure that I have mastered all that was expected of me.