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Reading To Find The Important Ideas
How do I Find What's Important?
 
Here's a formula for finding the important ideas in a chapter.
 


1.)  GET THE BIG PICTURE FIRST

       Quickly skim

  • the Chapter Title and start thinking about the topic

                         

  • the Introduction for an overview
  • the Major Headings for a quick idea of key concepts

                         

  • the Chapter Summary for a condensed version.

2.  READ EACH SECTION WITH A QUESTION IN MIND

  • Why? It's easier to find an answer if you know the question.
  • How? Use the heading/subheading that begins each new section.
    As you come to each new heading or subheading, just turn it into a question.
  • What kinds of questions work? Open-ended questions work best,
    for example: "What . . .?"; "Why . . .?"; "How?"

                         

  • the Chapter Summary for a condensed version.

3.  MARK INFORMATION THAT ANSWERS YOUR QUESTION

  • Read actively. Search for the answer to your question.
    Try not to get bogged down in every detail.
  • Look for
    --main ideas. Try first/last sentences of paragraphs and the section.
    --bold faced terms and the details that explain them.
    --examples that make abstract ideas understandable.
  • Mark these points sparingly. (Underline, star, circle, etc.)
  • STOP. There's another step to complete before moving on.

4.  CONFIRM YOUR ANSWER.
Does the information you marked answer the question you made?

  • Find out before reading the next section. Use your own words.
    --Say the answer out loud, or
    --Write brief summary notes in the margin of the text.
    (Refer to the chapter summary if you're unsure.)

                     

Repeat this questioning, reading, and confirming the process until you are ready to stop.
Then, do a brief review of what you read to pull the ideas back into a whole. You can review
again later.
 

Reading And Remembering>>

 


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Last edited on Barnett
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