Textbook Study Skills
1) Scan - Look over the chapter by quickly reading certain parts of the chapter. This will give you an in-depth overview of the information presented in the chapter. Read the title of the chapter, headings, and subheadings. Read the opening paragraph of the chapter. Read the first paragraph of each new heading. Read the first sentence of all other paragraphs. Read the chapter summary. Read the chapter questions. Scan all pictures, maps, charts, and other visual aids. Read any captions.
2) Chunk and Read - Chunking means dividing a chapter into smaller, more manageable, pieces or paragraphs. Read one paragraph at a time. After reading each paragraph, pause and ask yourself what the author is trying to say. "The author is saying ________________ in this paragraph." Try to complete the sentence before moving on to the next paragraph.
3) Recall and Record - Once you have completed chunking and reading a page, it's time to recall the information and record it on paper (note pages). Reread the first paragraph on the text page. Write the page number and paragraph numbers in the left margin. You can fold your paper in half and write questions on the left side and the answers on the right side of the paper. Write questions from the information presented in the paragraph. Then find the details and answer the questions. If new terms or vocabulary words are introduced, write a definition question (What is a __________?). Write questions about important dates, places, or events. Follow this same process after you read each page in the textbook.
4) Recite - Close the textbook. Take out your pages of questions and answers. Fold back the right hand side so the answers can't be seen. Read each question and then say the answer out loud. If you can not remember the answer, open the textbook to the page indicated on your questions/answers page and reread the paragraph. Find the answer and read it aloud. As you answer questions correctly, place a check mark next to the answer. Answer each question on the note pages. Review these questions and answers several times before a test or quiz.