Reading Your Textbooks

When reading a textbook, you must be an ACTIVE reader. This means that you do not simply just read through a textbook, but take action to better understand what the textbook is saying.

Some ways to be an active reader include: highlighting important sentences or words, taking notes while you read the textbook, writing down important textbook definitions or terms on another piece of paper, and answering review questions or doing practice problems in the textbook.

Below are some important strategies to assist you in reading your textbook for class:

1. Read slowly

Textbooks require slower reading speeds than do novels, journals, or newspapers. You can also re-read the textbook many times if you do not understand the material

2. Find meanings of unknown terms

Look for definitions of words you do not know in a dictionary, class notes, or glossary at the back of your textbook.

3. Form a study group

Discuss class notes and textbook notes in a group. For most students, discussing and hearing material discussed helps fill in textbook notes, speeds learning, and promotes later recall.

4. Discuss unclear material with the instructor

Have specific questions ready when you meet with a professor. This conveys interest and effort and makes it easier for instructors to help because they see more quickly what it is you don’t understand.

Skip to toolbar