Friday, December 15, 2006

I love making lists

I love making lists. Even if I know I won’t get it all done in one day, I like at least to put it all out there. It not only serves as a reminder, but as soon as an item gets on my list, it has entered my thinking in-basket. This in-basket means that even if you can’t see that I’m working on an assignment, my mind has begun processing. This processing may take the form of thinking about the steps of the task, or accessing my background knowledge, or I could even play with jumping to conclusions in an essay.

The brilliant part is that I may not even look at the list again (though not usually the case), but I am so much more likely to get those items done if I have written them on a to-do list. The process of writing itself helps me break down tasks into doable parts. I also invariably put those little things that need doing but are super easy to cross off the list, like phone my grandma and mail two letters. These “easy button” tasks help me feel like I am getting things done and on top of the world. I like that.

Happy Listing

Natalie

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Topic and Transitions Sentences

As a reader of quite a few essays and term papers, I notice that writers often struggle with organization. What I have usually found is that their organization is pretty good; each paragraph has a main idea and the paragraphs follow logically, but two key elements are missing. These elements are topic and transition sentences and can even be added to essays after they are written. Using topic and transition sentences is an easy way to infuse both organization and cohesion (aka flow) into essays.

Topic sentences belong at the beginning of each body paragraph and highlight the main idea of the paragraph and how that idea relates to the thesis of the essay. I think it’s important to be really explicit in this sentence so the reader is not left to question the logical flow of ideas. However, it’s also vital to be creative and interesting so the reader is eager to keep reading.

Transition sentences are the last sentence of every paragraph and serve to sum up the paragraph and hook or connect into the ideas coming in the next paragraph. If in an article review, the first paragraph is illustrating a strength in the article, the transition sentence could show the reader that this is not the only strength of the article, more are coming.

Writers may feel like they’re being repetitive in doing this, but readers don’t know the topic as well as the writer, so the restatement or clarification really is helpful for the reader. And a happy and unconfused reader is usually a happy marker! (wink wink ;))

Here's a short sample essay that has colour coded the thesis and topic sentences so readers can easily see how these sentences look and function in an essay.

Natalie

Thursday, November 23, 2006

WC Online

Attention students! You no longer have to stop by our office or phone us to book an appointment to see a writing tutor at our office. If you want to book an appointment, simply log onto www.rich15.com/manitoba, ‘Click here to Register’, fill in all the required information then log onto the site and book the appointment over the internet! You can book appointments at 4:00am and from anywhere in the world if you like. If you require instructions, please visit our office website at www.umanitoba.ca/u1/lac and click on ‘Booking Appointments’ or stop by our office and ask for more information.

Greg

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Google Scholar

Research papers typically require students to venture out into the world of academic literature in order to gain insight into a topic. Typically only reputable, peer-reviewed sources should be used to support your arguments. If you’re scared of the intimidating Elizabeth Dafoe Library (which you shouldn’t be), my guess is that you’ll probably venture on to Google to see what you can find on the topic you’re researching. Using a basic search engine, you’re going to find a whole lot of material that may be interesting, but not particularly useful. Sites like Wikipedia or Joe Blow’s Blog may be informative, but they don’t quite have the same clout as the publications of experts in the field you’re studying.

This isn’t to say that the Internet is useless when it comes to research. Not at all. However, when you’re on the lookout for reputable scholarly literature, try Google Scholar. This search engine will provide you with legitimate, peer-reviewed publications from the best and brightest.

Greg

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Structured Procrastination

In case you blinked, October is in full swing. Where did all of September go? I doubt anyone has a reasonable answer for that. What is apparent is the fact that the number of days of stress-free university life students have managed to soak up these past few weeks are rapidly drying up. Perhaps you have been keeping on top of things, reading over notes from every class, starting all your assignments early, and going to see your profs with all you questions. Or maybe you had every intention of doing these things but somewhere along the way they lost priority to all other things in your life like soccer practice, the season premiere of Grey’s, and hanging out with friends, etc. Now faint recollections of meaning to review class notes are coming back and due dates that seemed so distant and manageable at the beginning of term are but a week or so away. October can be a hard in terms of getting yourself back into the swing of things and the only way to get the ball rolling…is to get the ball rolling. However if you feel your excellent procrastination abilities are impeding your ball rolling consider something called Structured Procrastination at www.structuredprocrastination.com. This is a neat skill that helps you to turn your procrastination into completed by using your procrastination skills in a valuable way. Does this sound too good to be true? Well it’s not as easy as sitting around doing no work but at least this one with help you get your assignments and studying done on time.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Conclusions – Will there be a sequel?

One of the biggest challenges student writers face is toward the end of the process. You’ve written everything except the dreaded conclusion. But what do you write? An all too common approach to conclusions is to summarize your entire paper. The trouble with a summary is that your instructor will be reading the same things they just read in the body of your paper. Especially for short papers written at the undergraduate level, reading a summary may be perceived as time well wasted.

I’ve struggled with conclusions for many years and have found the best way to tackle a paper’s conclusion is to think like some horror movie producers do:
leave room for a sequel! A great writer effectively answers question she’s asked herself but in the end, poses another with the hope that she or another researcher may be able to answer. Just as the monster comes back to life in the frightening final moments of a horror flick, prompting audience anticipation for a sequel, academic writers also might leave their endings open.

Greg

Blog note: Here's some more online information on conclusions.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Time management web workshop

I apologize for the sporadic nature of our posts. The weeks are just flying by.

When it gets busy we all struggle with time, the lack of it and the seemingly vast number of tasks that seem to pile up. Figuring out a game plan to deal with those tasks is always a good idea. The University of Guelph has a fabulous, interactive web workshop on time management. There are several points of entry: by topic (i.e. "time management and creativity") by persistent or recurring problems (i.e., procrastination) or by topics that are geared towards specific student populations (i.e., adult students or first-year students). Check it out.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Next Week's Workshops

The first full week back to school is almost complete and if you are starting to feel a little panicky about your ability to tackle assignments and organize your studying fret not!! The LAC will be offering a variety of workshops in the next two months that will set you well on your way and keep you on track to meet your goals this semester.

The LAC is offering two workshops next week. Note! If you have one of the LAC Brochures some of the rooms have changed! They are correct here.

Organizing Your Time Effectively
Tues. Sept 19, 1:30-2:30, Helen Glass 348
Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2:30-3:30, Helen Glass 344
This workshop will help with that constant pressure of getting everything done and getting it done on time.

Research and the Internet
Thursday September 21, 1:00-2:00, Helen Glass 370
This workshop offers information about using research logs and how to search the internet effectively. This involves sorting through all the junk and finding something valuable as well as making use of the databases available through the UM Libraries.

You can register by calling 480-1481 or online through the Virtual Learning Commons.

The Writing Tutor Program is back!!!!!

That's right! Starting Tuesday, September 19th, the writing tutors return to the Elizabeth Dafoe Library's Reference Room! Feel free to drop by for help with your essays. For updated information about hours of operation, please visit us online.



Greg

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Welcome First Year Students and The Virtual Learning Commons

It's the first day of orientation! Welcome all first year students. When you have a chance come by and say hello and grab a candy out of our candy jar.

The University of Manitoba has a new and existing online initiative called The Virtual Learning Commons. This site provides academic information, and is extremely interactive with an assignment manager, a very cool scheduling feature, the ability to add your own "to-do" list (which can be added to your scheduler) access to an online writing tutor and the opportunity to chat online with other UM students.

Check it out!

Monday, August 28, 2006

LAC Fall Workshops

The times, dates, and location of our fall workshops are now online. Our first one is on September 12 at 1:30 (Taking Useful Class Notes). The same workshop is repeated on September 13th in 344 Helen Glass at 2:30.

If you want to register please call 474-1481.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

What counts as cheating?

In every class you take the professor starts by rattling on about plagiarism. Who actually reads that long, dense paragraph, or goes to the university’s academic dishonesty policy, anyway?

You should!

What may seem like a minor infraction of the academic dishonesty policy can get you a big, fat goose egg on an assignment or even get you cashiered out of a course. For a quick way to get your head around this issue, try the Student Advocacy web site’s online quiz.

Kris

Monday, August 14, 2006

Reference Librarians

The first time you walk into Elizabeth Dafoe Library can be a little overwhelming. As the largest library in the province, it isn’t easy finding what you need. Thank goodness for the friendly and helpful Reference Librarians. The reference desk is located straight ahead of you when you walk into the library, and they are happy to help you find what you’re looking for. They also offer occasional library tours/orientations and have maps for students. So whether your need periodicals, microfilm, photocopiers, dissertations, government documents, writing tutors, computer labs, newspapers, collections or a nice quiet carrel to study at, the Reference Librarians are there for you!

Greg

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Critical Comma

I'm often caught grumbling about picky people and commas, but Rogers Communications Inc. just found out that a misplaced comma can be costly. Maybe I need to stop grumbling.

(Thanks to Neil Gaiman for pointing this article out on his blog.)

Miriam

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Making the Most of Group Studying

Studying with a group is fun, and can be very productive. Actually, it can often be the best way to approach a particular subject area. However, managing group study time can be challenging.

If you are anything like me, staying on task in a group is difficult. For example, I have a hard time staying focused when my study group insists on making jokes about chickens and roads. The temptation to be distracted by very corny jokes, discussions about great parties, and why most of the profs on campus are completely unreasonable is high. If you find that you can’t bring people back to task with a topic-related question, or that your group is too easily distracted, try moving to a quieter study area with fewer distractions. Ultimately you need to understand the material. If the group continues to be dysfunctional, find another group, or study on your own. Remember, chicken jokes will not impress a professor on a final exam.

To focus your group, try some of the following tips:

  • set a goal of how much material you will cover
  • identify key definitions and quiz each other
  • each person come up with a possible test question; then try to answer the questions
  • work on the sample problems and share the process/solution
  • each person come up with a memory aid to learn a different part of the course content
  • if course content is controversial, set up a debate and back up your positions with material from readings and lectures
See these links for more info:

for how to study effectively in groups

and

for why study groups work...


Kris & Anita

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Online Encyclopedia

If you’ve ever had trouble trying to confirm a fact and don’t have a lot of time to hunt through the Internet, try looking at Wikipedia (www.wikipedia.org). It is an international, web-based, free-content, multi-language encyclopedia. Wikipedia material is written by volunteers and the content can be changed by anyone. The benefit is that you are reading information often written by an expert who is keen on the subject. The disadvantage is that not all the content is 100% accurate. However, Wikipedia can be a great quick reference for finding many facts or getting a general understanding of a topic.

Kris

Monday, July 31, 2006

Refworks

“Your Online Personal Database and Bibliography Creator”. Tired of trying to learn a new style of citation for every paper you write? Refworks formats your paper and bibliography for you and is free for U of M students. Access the website through library's website (or click on "Refworks" above).

Greg

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Use a professor's office hours

You know the first day of class when the professor explains the marking scheme and announces office hours? Believe it or not, those office hours are like gold! You get almost unrestricted access to an expert in a particular field. To get the kind of tutoring, advice and tips you can get from a professor during office hours, companies and individuals are willing to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars. The professors know what will be on the your exams and they know where you are likely to have problems, so use a professor’s office hours to your best advantage.

Kris

Monday, July 24, 2006

Music for Study?

Most of the people I know study while listening to music. While there have been studies to show that listening to music can be beneficial, the research in this area is still inconclusive. So, most experts (mostly psychology professors) say that studying to music is good if it’s relaxing and doesn’t split your focus. If you need music to study, then music without words such as classical, instrumental or even those sounds of the rain forest CDs is suggested.

Kris

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Need to polish your writing skills?

The New Humanities Reader offers a series of 14 tutorials aimed at helping students improve their writing skills. Each tutorial highlights a different aspect of the writing process. Check it out:


Monday, July 17, 2006

E-Resources

I've become frustrated with my dictionary, which, because it's five years old, is already obsolete and does not include new words, such as "cybrarian", "hacktivism", or "yada yada". Rather than buying a new dictionary (too expensive!), I've been using the Oxford English Dictionary online, which is available to students through the U of M libraries website. Check out the other online dictionaries and encyclopedias to which the U of M subscribes at http://umanitoba.ca/libraries/elibrary/ebooks_etexts.html

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

A Word A Day

Want to increase your word power? Check out "A.Word.A.Day" (AWAD) at http://wordsmith.org/awad/subscriber.html Sign up at this site and receive a daily email with a definition, examples of how the word is used in contemporary English, and a link to an audio pronunciation. AWAD mailing list addresses are never sold, rented, leased or traded, so no worries about junk mail. I particularly enjoy the quotations at the end of each entry!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Complex Sentences

Many people have trouble putting the wonderful and complicated ideas they’ve developed onto paper. When they read what they’ve written they wonder why the ideas don’t “flow” or why the sentences don’t seem to express the full complexity of the ideas.

One way to fix this lack of flow is to diversify sentence structure. Most students will be familiar with the simple sentence. (Eg: Margot loves doing dissections!) This sentence has a noun (Margot) and a verb (loves) and expresses a complete thought. This is also called an independent clause.

Another kind of sentence is the compound sentence. (Eg: Margot loves doing dissections, and she gets to do one this week.) This sentence has two parts which are of equal weight and are joined by a coordinator (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so). This type of sentence joins two ideas by using a conjunction, but both ideas could have been expressed independently and still have the message conveyed properly.

The complex sentence is a real gem of the English language. This type of sentence’s true value is its ability to express intricate concepts by establishing dependent relationships between ideas. Sounds hard, eh? It’s truly not. Complex sentences are just the next logical step after compound sentences.

A compound sentence puts two independent clauses together with a joining word. A complex sentence, on the other hand, uses something called a dependent clause. A dependent clause is similar to an independent clause but it cannot stand alone as a sentence. In practical terms, this means that one part of the sentence (the dependent clause) relies on another part of the sentence (the independent clause) for complete meaning.

For example:
Although Hamlet appeared insane, his soliloquies provide evidence to the contrary.
When Columbus voyaged across the Atlantic, many people thought him to be mad.
The king of France declared war even though his advisors were against it.

In each of these examples, it is possible to determine relationships between ideas. Complex sentences can show time, cause/effect and contrasting associations. In the first example, we are contrasting Hamlet’s apparently insane behaviour with the heartfelt introspection when he his alone. Using a complex sentence in this way directly links the two ideas and helps increase the “flow” of the writing.

Dependent clauses in complex sentences are often used as adverbial modifiers – meaning they modify or restrict the meaning of a sentence. In this case, they require commas. For more information about comma use, check out the blog “Commas”.



The chart above provides some key words and phrases that are helpful if you wish to add complex sentences to your work. An essay with a variable sentence structure is easier to read, and using complex sentences provides a writer with the tools to express intricate thoughts.


References: (MLA style)

Aaron, Jane E. & Murray McArthur. The Little, Brown Compact Handbook, 2nd ed. Toronto: Pearson Education Canada, 2003.

Hacker, Diana. A Canadian Writer’s Reference, 2nd ed. Scarborough: Nelson Thomson Learning, 2001.

Kris

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Writing Essays during Spring Intersession

For some, writing essays is a welcomed experience that enables a deeper understanding of given topics. For others, it can be a source of crippling frustration and woe. For me, writing essays is a little bit of both. However, writing essays during Spring Intersession definitely doubles the pain of writing essays, but I’m not sure if it doubles the pleasure.

There are some things that may diminish the pain, however, and it is these that I’d like to share with you. If by chance you have devised more strategies to increase the joy of essay writing during Spring Intersession, please share them with us. Don’t leave us wallowing in this suffering!

The following are good strategies at the best of times, but crucial to maintaining happiness during this time-crunched term.

First, if possible, choose a topic or subject in which you have some background knowledge. Even if you are new to the subject area, there will be some topics in which you have more general knowledge. Capitalize on this. Being able to draw on previous research and understanding will seriously reduce the amount of new research you have to do, and will allow you to go into more depth.

Also, choose a topic that interests you. The more academic, general, or personal interest you have in an area, the more joy you will get from researching and writing about it.

Finally, start right away! Good writing takes time-- time researching, thinking, and polishing. However, you only have limited time during Spring Intersession, so start NOW!

As always, you are welcome to drop by to meet with a tutor at the Writing Tutor Program in Dafoe Library, or call 480-1481 or drop by 201 Tier to make an appointment there.

Wishing you more pleasure than pain,
Natalie

Monday, March 20, 2006

Crunch Time!

The arrival of March brings us halfway through the spring term and well into the aptly named ‘crunch time’. For myself, the second semester has felt like a monotonous journey through a tunnel where the light at the end only serves to illuminate the following tunnels. I think to myself, “just make it to reading week Sara….oh wait I have four midterms after reading week. Alright then after midterms are done I can take that breather. Well no, wrong again because you have two papers due characteristically on the same day that require research and a thesis statement, and an outline and WRITING! Papers are soon followed by finals and alas there is never rest to be found. Is summer my only relief?” On the brighter side of things at least I am sharing this expedition with every other weary and overloaded university student; having others to complain with about the injustices faced by students, though it never helps me get things done, really does make me feel better.

Yet I want to avoid all this! I want to escape the tunnel and travel through second term on a warm, sunlit, quiet, and soothing country road. Is this a laughable na├»ve fantasy? In part yes, but I am optimistic enough to believe that there is some relief to be had. One of the best kinds of therapy begins with the move from the “AHH I have so much to do” approach to the more reasonable analysis of exactly what needs to be done. If you do this in your head it can often be accompanied by a dangerous level of panic. Somehow in your mind tasks grow to more monumental proportions, probably because they are being viewed all together and each with their own subtasks. I find it more comforting and focusing to put these tasks in list form. It never fails to amaze me how this act magically seems to whittle down what I have to do into an amount I can actually wrap my head around.

From there I usually breakdown the assignments and tests into building blocks that I can manage in one sitting. If I have to read a novel over the course of a week for example, and the book has 287 pages well that’s about 41 pages per day, or 32 pages per day during the week and double that on Saturday and Sunday. However you may choose to break it down, smaller components are a lot easier on a person’s stress level especially if one can learn to focus more strongly on these individual parts. If I can think in my head that all I have to read today is 32 pages of a novel, although a minor part of the whole book, I can feel confident and self-satisfied that I can get it done. Even when combined with other minor tasks, parts are much easier to tackle than the whole; planning to do 3 questions on my chemistry assignment and read 32 pages is a lot easier than doing a 15 question assignment and reading a 287 page novel.
Personally I am a big schedule person and aside from separating jobs into smaller pieces, I will assign timeslots to each item. It’s not so much about exactly following what I have set out. Most of the time, I extend or cutback or change the time of day I work on something depending on how the work is going and what I feel like doing at the time. The schedule’s usefulness comes instead from allowing me to calculate the amount of time I have to allot to task in order to get things done, therefore building up my comfort in knowing that the amount of work I have to accomplish is doable.

It’s important to keep in mind that the extent of list-making and scheduling required to alleviate stress depends on the person. Some students will probably stop at evaluating what they have to do and will then be worry-free enough to work from there. Others will adhere to schedules down to the minute. What’s more important is being aware that in times of panic about ALL the things you have to do, figuring out and focusing on the smaller building blocks can be a valuable tool in making it through.

Sara

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Organization for the Disorganized Student

Lately, I’ve seen a lot of students who are having trouble managing their time. Assignments, tests and exams that seem far away tend to sneak up on us. One way to avoid the last minute panicky rush to study or complete an assignment is to be organized. If you are anything like me, day planners get lost in the back seat of the car or at the bottom of your backpack. Here is a quick way for the hopelessly disorganized person to stay on top of his or her school work.

  • Make yourself a big calendar for the remaining months of school (these are also available on-line or at the LAC).
  • Mark down all your tests, presentations, essays, assignments, and exams on their due dates. Color-code it and make it flashy.
  • Hang the calendar where you will see it everyday. Some suggestions are
    • Your bulletin board
    • Your bathroom mirror
    • Your bedroom door
    • The ceiling above your bed

This simple calendar will force you to face your deadlines realistically on a daily basis and encourage you to plan ahead. For other time management and organization tips check out these websites.


Chemistry Coach Website http://www.chemistrycoach.com/lbe4.htm

University of Calgary, Achieve Academic Success http://www.ucalgary.ca/~dmjacobs/study_skills_sites.html

Freya

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Post-Reading Week Recovery

It’s that time of year again. I don’t know about you but to me, Reading Week was a true blessing. For some of us, it was the chance to flee both our studies and the unforgiving prairie winter; for others, it was the chance to catch up or get ahead on our studies and make sure that we’re sufficiently prepared for the upcoming mid-term onslaught. But for those of you lucky ducks who just spent a week in tropical paradise, don’t kid yourself! If you left town, chances are you didn’t get much studying time in. So the question for you becomes: How are you going to complement the fun with the work so that you’re not in over your head when you get back?

My favorite way to memorize information for tests and exams is using study cards. I go through my notes and readings several days before a test or exam and write out a flash card for each concept or idea that I feel I need to memorize. On one side of the card I write out a question (e.g. Define Categorical Data or Who Was Anton Chekhov?). I write the answer on the other side of the card. When I’m all done, my material is organized in a way that makes memorization easy. Simply review the cards regularly (repetition is key!) and once you feel that you know the answer, remove that card from the pile so that you can focus on the cards you haven’t yet memorized. As days pass, the pile will get smaller and smaller. The night before the test, go through every card one more time to make absolutely sure that you’ve memorized everything before getting a good night’s sleep. Don’t throw out your cards after your mid-term is over. You will likely need them for your final.

For concepts that may have too many details to fit onto one card, you may want to create a mind map (or as I like to call them: ‘Trickle Down Charts’): Write the concept on the top of a page (may be a theory, person, event, etc.) and then lines trickling down into immediate functions (like components or roles of the concept) and continue to break down each function as needed. As you review your mind map, cover the bottom of the page and work your way down, testing yourself on each function of the concept over and over until you have it memorized. Here is an example:

Here is what it may look like if I was to apply this chart to an area of my own studies:



These charts will help guide your mind through the concept should you be asked to discuss something complex and detailed.

Don’t be afraid to use the people around you. Asking your instructor what topics and readings will be covered on the exam will help you focus your study time on the important areas of the course material. Forming a study group with classmates will allow you to pick up any material that you may have missed studying on your own.

For more suggestions, check out our How To Prepare For Exams workshop on Tuesday, February 28th in 236 Isbister from 2:30 to 3:20pm. In the meantime, I hope you enjoyed your Reading Week. You’ve earned it!

Greg

Monday, January 30, 2006

Tackling the required reading pile

The pile starts very small. As time passes, it seems to be growing. It grows and grows and grows until your desk is filled with assigned readings that you said to yourself “Oh, I’ll get to that later.” Before you know it, you can’t imagine how the pile got so high and you’ve got an exam or a paper to write on the material that you should have read once upon a time.

It’s not always easy and it certainly isn’t always fun, but like it or not, reading is a part of every student’s life. It would be great if everything we had to read for class was as exciting as the latest Harry Potter, but more often than not, you may be bored stiff by that pile of reading on your desk. I know that I certainly am sometimes. So how do students like you and I effectively tackle the pile before we regret it?

This term I’m taking a seminar course which means that every Wednesday, a small group of us sit around and talk about assigned readings. Our grade is partially based on participation and when there are only ten of us, it’s hard to hide in the back and pray that the professor doesn’t call on you to comment on what you didn’t read. Thankfully, this environment provides the much needed motivation for me to make sure that my readings are all done on time! Unfortunately, not all courses can provide that sort of motivation and so productive reading requires some self-discipline.

Have an agenda? Get one. I make sure that every week I go through all my courses and figure out exactly what I need to get done. Then I spread out all my reading to make sure that I don’t have too much to do at one time. I can read at my own pace, take breaks when I want and re-read the things that I don’t understand.

Some students are very careful with their textbooks. Personally, I’m never afraid to get out my highlighter and my pen and make lots of notes either in the book itself or on a separate piece of paper. This saves time when you need to review the work later on. By highlighting important passages and summarize important points on the side or bottom of the page makes returning to the work easier later on. Having forgotten much of what you read, your detailed graffiti will refresh your memory quickly and take up less of your time.

Still you have one hundred pages of dull reading to do by tomorrow. How do you get it done? Depending on the class, the material and your own learning style, a lot of what you read in those pages may provide details that may not be relevant to what you need to know. Many professors want you to understand general theories and ideas that can be found in the readings, not every particular detail. There have been times I’ve skimmed through chapters searching only for key points and been very successful with what I’ve found. If you’re a slow reader like myself, this technique may be useful.

Productive reading requires that you put yourself in an environment where you can be productive. This means different things to different people. Personally, when it comes to a task that requires my full attention, I need absolute quiet. Others may need music. So to get the ball rolling I make sure that I’m in a quiet space (like a library or a private room). This prevents me from being distracted and makes the reading a lot faster and easier to follow.

If everything we have to read was exciting and easy, then reading wouldn’t be a problem. But since it’s not, I hope that these reading strategies are helpful in the pursuit of successful reading!

For more information on successful reading, check out these links:

SQ3R

Text Marking and Highlighting


Greg