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Research, Reading, & Writing Studio

10 Reading Tips

10 STRATEGIES FOR UNDERSTANDING DIFFICULT TEXTS

A few tips before you begin:

  • Be sure to read ALL of the strategies first to ensure that you pick the best strategy for your assignment.
  • Consider combining strategies: using one strategy is great, but using several together is better!
  • And remember- many texts you read will be difficult, and they may require “failed” readings before the text can be understood. “Failed” readings will actually IMPROVE your understanding of a text!

1. Read slowly and carefully.

2. Decide what to read closely and what to skim.

3. Highlight, underline, and/or circle information in the text that you think is important.

4. Annotate and make notes in the margins when reading.

5. Think about how the content of the text applies to your writing purpose.

6. Use reference materials, such as a dictionary.

7. Put ideas presented in the text into your own words.

8. Use context clues.

9. Re-read parts you don’t understand.

10. Meet with your professor when you are confused.

See the full explanations of these tips here: