Your reading rate will depend on the type of material at hand. A good general
practice is to skim the material first. This will give you an idea of the topics covered and
an idea about the depth of concentration required. When you are reading for
information and ideas, you will be moving rather quickly. When you are reading to learn
thoroughly (especially if the material is quite technical), you will need to slow down
considerably. As you read:
a. From your initial skimming, make a decision about how deep you want to read
the material the second time.
b. Question yourself as you read for the second time. When a principle is
presented, ask, "What is an example I might find?" Always ask, "How does this relate to
the lesson or course objectives?"
c. Watch for such negative points as the author's bias, claims he did not support
with evidence, propaganda, or emotional language.
2-18. STUDY POINTERS
Study can be done at any time and under any conditions; but if you study
haphazardly, you will probably not retain the material. Consider these suggestions for
efficient use of your study time.
a. Time. When you schedule your study time, don't plan to study one section or
module immediately followed by another related one. Do something else, totally
unrelated to the subject area, just before you begin to study. This will help to eliminate
proactive interference. Then relax after you have completed study. If you are not
finished, take a short break and then resume studying.
b. Place. Use a quiet place for study. Even though a teenager may watch
television, listen to a stereo, and still study, most of us with family or job responsibilities
cannot. At least two of these activities will suffer, and usually study is the one that will
c. Comfort/Interruptions. Use a comfortable chair. Don't slump because you
will create a backache. Allow no interruptions. If this is not possible where you are
living, go to a library or anyplace where comfort and quiet are possible.
d. Lighting. You need good lighting to avoid eyestrain and the resulting
headache. Unfavorable conditions are all right for someone just learning how to study,
but not for someone in specialized study.