First, get a perspective on what you must read/study
Review the assignment in the syllabus and any
handouts (1-2 minutes) Maybe you are not required
to read some sections.
Survey the chapter (5-10 minutes) for how the
content is organized; get the "big picture" This
is not to fully understand; rather develop preliminary
associations of bits of information that later will help
you understand. Quickly scan the introduction,
the summary, vocabulary list, self-test questions,
headings, boldfaced material, major graphics, etc.
Notice the major concepts, definitions, descriptions,
causes and effects, and arguments.
Check out the media, the CD and website (if
available) to see what they contain
Take no notes, and mark no text in this phase
Reading and understanding scientific papers
Reading scientific papers and chapters can be
challenging, but if you follow a routine and practice it as an active
reader, each task will become easier to master.
The difficulty lies in the nature of science
Evidence is gathered from observation
It uses a systematic approach to gather and
Hypotheses are tested that respond to
questions for problem solving.
The process is self-correcting. It is systematized and unbiased Open
to consider its results whether or not its conclusions agree with the original
hypotheses. The results can
lead to new questions, cyclical.
Before taking a course, list out any introductory
courses and/or prerequisites.
Prepare yourself by reading the syllabus carefully for assignments,
Understand the purpose
of any reading assignment: pay attention to the instructions on
approaching it, and due dates. Make sure you understand what is being asked of
Create a plan. Decide how much time you will
need to complete the assignment; where you will study, and what else you
may need to engage with the reading material (CD, Website, reference
books, tutors, etc.)
Survey the paper or chapter
Take five to ten minutes to preview the introduction, summary, headings,
graphics and images, boldfaced material, conclusions/questions at the end.
Make no notes at this point: you are orienting yourself to the task with the
“big picture”, but also give yourself an idea of how to divide the reading
into manageable sections/stages.
Strive for a basic understanding of the new
With each unit, scan its heading and subheadings
before you start reading. This will give you a general overview of the
material and help you to focus on the most important information.
Read with pauses in natural "units"
Read and pause, read and pause. Progress through each section as you are
comfortable Let your mind assemble the parts for the
Do not take notes during your first reading.
In the margin create a simple code for what will need special attention:
i.e.: V for vocabulary, F for particular facts, A for argument etc. and "?"
for what seems challenging.
Work to understand the facts and principles,
look to recognize patterns and build associations. Memorize by priority after you feel corfortable.
Give complete attention to the reading task: read actively!
Break your reading
into units—usually constructed within the chapter Do not overwhelm
yourself with a large amount of new information.
Monitor that you
understand each in succession Pay attention to images and graphics and
any leading questions
Use different types of notes: outline, bullet points, drawings, even
recorded audio The type of notes you take can be as diverse as you
concepts, vocabulary on note cards to review and test yourself
Build a concept map
of the new information Work to associate new information with what you
exercises in the (instructor’s) reading assignment
At the end of the
chapter review its summary and/or questions
At this point, if
you have open questions or material you don’t understand
words and concepts (Use apps such as Bard, ChatGPT or Google Chat to help you
Search books and/or
the Internet for alternative explanations
questions to a classmate, study group, tutor
Discuss with your
Review your notes; look for gaps. Reviewing solidifies understanding
For your self-tests ask yourself verbal
questions and give verbal answers. A verbal recollection is another method
Construct a concept map of the main ideas; illustrate them with your own examples.
Use look-away techniques to review. Look at information, look away, ask a question,
give an answer, look back and check what the real answer is, correct yorself
and try again.
Use cumulative-addition-to-a-set. Study one item. Study a second, then study both
until perfect. Study a third, then study all three until perfect. And so
on—up to fifteen or twenty items. Then start a new set.
Study lists and sets by using mnemonic
Use the fundamental units, theories, and
scientific reasoning as the basis for making up questions to test
Kiosk guides for learning are a freely accessible educational environment that offers strategies to recognize and realize learning objectives. We accept individual differences without regard to ability and creed; sexual and affectional orientation; caste, tribal and national affiliation; individual, familial and collective history. Our suggestions should be thoughtfully considered for appropriateness and guidance to your situation, relying on elders, mentors, cohorts and/or professionals to achieve learning objectives and outcomes.