As important as reading is to success in school, many students dislike it. Those who do like to read are usually got at it. A conclusion on might reach is that people like to do things they’re good at. This guide is designed to help you get good at reading, so even if you still dislike some of your texts, at least you’ll be able to dislike them for less time. This first section is on rapid reading- an essential for success in school. Most students with poor grades need help in reading skills. Yet, it’s no wonder their last reading lesson was probably in the second grade, and its unlikely anyone has had a class in comprehension or speed since then. High powered reading skills can help make school more enjoyable and create plenty of free time. One of the most fascinating areas of learning involves rapid reading skills.
Reading for Speed
1. You can read, Much Faster!
Would it help you if you could read twice as fast as you presently read? How about twenty times as fast? And with better comprehension? If that sounds impossible, I it’s not. The human mind is capable of seeing and understanding material as fast as one can turn pages, and some people do that to read fast. John Stuart Mill, Teddy Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy were all naturally fast readers, as have been many others. They were what are known as gifted readers: Those who read very fast with excellent comprehension. Gifted readers come from every walk of life, for reading is a skill not related to age, occupation, heredity, or intelligence. The only reason that you may not read fast now is because your natural gifts may have been smothered in school. The way reading is taught in most public school sis the same technique used a century ago. Curiously the Average North American reads at about the same rat today as he read 100 years ago. Most people read between 100 and 400 words per minute, the national average. But slow readers are severely penalized throughout life and are simply unable to keep up because of the tremendous volume of reading required today. Hopefully schools with change their methods of reading instruction so that someday all students will be rapid readers. In theory, the only things that should decide reading rat are the student’s background in the subject, the purpose for reading and the ability to turn pages. Some readers have been tested in difficult textbook material who has read thousands of words per minute with excellent comprehension. That’s over a dozen pages over minute. Yet some of these super-readers used to read at rates near 200 words per minute! So it read at rates near 200 words per minute! So it is certainly possible for the average reader to increase his or her reading speed considerably. What does limit your reading rate? Poor habits such a sub vocalization (pronouncing words to yourself), regression (going back to reread material already covered.) prolonged fixation (stopping and starting at one word) and inefficient eye moment ( losing your place and wandering between lines.) these poor habits cause tired eyes, boredom, low speeds and low comprehension. It is not ability that you lack, it is training. Because we are taught to read at 100 to 400 words per minute, we are led to believe that is our “normal rate”. But those rates are no more normal that 10 or 10,000 words per minute. To improve your rate it takes proper training and time. A book cannot give the same kind of help that is necessary to make a dramatic increase in your reading skills. Some speed reading programs are good, but not all are legitimate. So until you cant get some professional help from a well-trained rapid-reading instructor, there are some positive steps you can take.
2. Read with your hand
As children, we were generally taught no to underline words with our fingertips. But this method actually helps increase speed and comprehension. It builds speed in reading because it prevents unnecessary backing up and rereading, which consumes about one-sixth for your reading time. It also prevents unneeded prolonged fixations, the habit of staring at one word or phrase for a long period. Reading with your hand on the page improves your comprehension because it directs your attention to a spot instead of allowing your eyes and mind to wander. Simply place your fingertip under the first word and move it along at a comfortable rate, underlining each word. Be sure to pick up your finger at the end of each line, lifting it to begin the next one. Read directly above your fingertip and watch your rate soar.
3. Learn to adjust your rates
Don’t read everything at the same rate. You should read light fiction quickly and technical texts ate about one-half that rate. When you read easy material, speed up and you will enjoy reading more. A common misconception is that reading faster ruins enjoyment. That is not true. When you were fin first grade, you probably read at a rate of 10 to 50 words per minute. Now you may read 100 to 500 words per minute, a full ten times faster! Did you loose any of the enjoyment in books? Of course not, and in fact you may enjoy books more now tan when you read slowly. Decide upon your purpose and read to see the level of comprehension you require. When your purpose in reading is entertainment, read faster than usual. In a high responsibility situation, take notes often, reread difficult passages and read at your maximum rate of comprehension try not to memorize.
4. See yourself as a good reader
Do you see yourself as a slow reader or as a fast reader? Your actions are consistent with your conception of yourself. Always push yourself, being aware of what you need to get out of the material. Believe you can get what you want, when you want it. Seeing you as a fast reader ca n become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Dr. Maxwell Maltz, author of psycho-cybernetics, popularized the concept of mental practice, and thousands have used it successfully. He believes each person ahs a goal-striving mechanism that simply needs to be triggered properly in order automatically steer a person toward a set total. What does this mean to you in practical terms? It means that you can “program” yourself to become a better reader, or anything else you like, by using a beautiful built-in success mechanism. This success mechanism is a goal-directed insight that is easily motivated. Make sure the goal you see is desirable. Otherwise your internal mechanism may not get the clear signals it needs. Gets a strong, clear, and vivid picture of yourself achieving the role you wish? If it’s improvement you wish, sit back, close your eyes, and picture yourself sitting down at a desk or table you know well, moving down the page, not only comprehending what you have read, but quickly recalling it in your notes. Practice this once or twice a day for about two minutes each time. Within several weeks you should see a notable improvement in yourself.
5. See more words at a time
Once reason you might read slowly is that you read with a narrow, constricted, “hard-focus”; you have disciplined your eyes to see only a couple of words at a time. This severely limits your speed. Your reading focus is different from your usual vision. The difference is easy to explain. What do you see when you look outside your window? Do your eyes focus only on spot three-quarters of an inch by five-eights of an inch? What you see is an entire panorama with everything in focus. You should see a page in the same way. In order to regain your usual range of vision for reading, you will need some practice. This will require the use of both hands and a large book. Flip through the pages of the book quickly, turning them from the top with your left hand and pulling your eyes down the page by brushing down each page with the edge of your hand. Your fingers should be extended and relaxed. Follow your hand down each page with your eyes, trying to see as many words as possible. Start by brushing each page in two or three seconds, gradually reducing the time spent on each page until you can go as fast as you can turn [ages. pace yourself, starting at twenty pages a minute, slowly increasing to one hundred pages a minute within one or two more words at a time by preventing zooming in or focusing only on individual words. Practice for five minutes a day for several weeks. Remember that is unlikely that you’ll read faster without practicing. Reading is a skill and as withy any skill, all the instruction in the world won’t help you unless you actually practice what you learn. It’s important to learn to see more words at time. Just those few minutes a day of practice will help prevent missing words. Some students are afraid that if they go faster, they’ll miss words. But they already know most of the words they’re about to see. There are over 600,000 words in our language but 400 hundred of them comprise 64 percent of printed material. These are structure words that have no meaning, but they tie the sentence together. For example, in the second sentence of this paragraph, the structure words are: but, of the about, to. Remove most of the words and the sentences choppy, but still readable: “they already know most words they’re about to see.” Because you’ve read those 400 words many times, don’t let them slow down your reading by dwelling on them. A famous psychologist, James Cattell, determined through research that our untrained visual capacity is about four words in one-hundredth of a second. That’s 400 words a second of 24,000 words per minute that we’re capable of seeing and understanding. Australian psychologist John Ross has reported that the human mind can process the depth information in .0002 seconds. He defined depth information as nonfiction technical material. Some students may wonder whether o not they comprehend material by reading at a faster rate. Accept the fact you can. Just practice at it and you’ll see results immediately. Don’t worry about understanding everything when you read fast. You can see and understand everything, but merely reading something does not insure re tension. You’ll retain information by practicing recall, not by reading slower. Usually the slower you read, the more the mind wanders, with little comprehension and recall. The ideal level on which to read Is a purely mental or intellectual plane. This means don’t clog or block information in your mind by negative emotions such as anxiety, worrying, and fear of “not getting it”. If you develop an open positive, “go –for-it” attitude, you’ll read much better. AT higher rates of speed it’s also helpful to talk to yourself. Discuss out loud the topic of each paragraph for additional clarity and reinforcement. Conceptual vocalization, the skill of thinking out loud, enables you to better process ideas or concepts. In order to get eh comprehension you need at faster speeds. It helps to have an adequate background in the material. You can get back-ground information from: 1) reading other material on that subject, 2) personal experience and 3) rereading. The purpose of pre-reading is to become familiar with the main ideas and to organize those ideas into a pattern. This organizing step is crucial in developing speed in reading from textbook material. One other hint that will help you read fast is often overlooked; hold your book four to six inches farther away from your eyes than usual. Your eyes won’t have to work so had because the farther things are from your eyes, the less movement it takes to see them all. So be sure your material is at least fifteen inches from your eyes; you’ll enjoy increased speed and comprehension and reduce fatigue.
READING FOR COMPREHENSION
1.) Reading Quickly to improve concentration
Readers with the best comprehension are usually fast readers. The slower you read, the more chances there are for you to daydream and lose concentration, hence, comprehension. Getting good comprehension. Getting good comprehension is a process and a habit, not a mystery. Actually, comprehension is a two-fold process 1.) Perceiving and organizing information, and 2) relating that information to what you already know. Several factors determine the degree comprehension you’ll get from the material you read. Those factors are your background in that subject, your reading skills and the organization and presentation of that material. There is virtually no comprehension w hen the reader does not have the necessary vocabulary and background. Comprehension is largely dependent on how well the reader already knows the subject. Because background increases the vocabulary and subject familiarity get the amount of prior knowledge you can. Then processing becomes almost subliminal, it happens so fast. When the read has an extensive background, there is even a point at which material can be read prior to conscious awareness. Background is the reason why a beginning law student might read at 70 to 200 words per minute, eat a practicing attorney can read the same material much faster. Therefore the firs habit to get into that will build comprehension is to gain the necessary background for that subject. Two excellent ways to accomplish this are listening to lectures and reading other easier material on the same subject.
2.) Reading Actively for greater meaning
Reading is an active process, not a passive one. Anticipate ideas and read for a purpose to answer your questions by actively searching for the information. Have questions in mind before you read, not afterward’s If you being reading a book with questions, you’ll complete your reading with the answers. Think about important point as and read to understand them. Be confident that you can get what you want and you will. Don’t argue with the author while reading. Save critical analysis for later so you will not slow yourself down, loose concentration, and miss the flow of the material. Put a pencil check in the marching of areas you would like to back to.
3.) Read to understand not to memorize
In order to have a smooth, continuous flow of information to your mind, don’t stop to memorize facts .save that process for later when you study your notes. Read a page, summarize the data in your notes, and then continue. AT all times you should read as rapidly as you can understand the ideas
4.) Maintain Proper Attitude and Desire
You must care about what you are reading or studying. If you don’t, create a need to care. Use positive reinforcement. You might say to your self, “once I get this reading done, I’ll be able to go do something I enjoy more.” “Don’t use negative reinforcement or a self-threat such as, “if I don’t get an A in this class, I’ll loose my scholarship.” If you maintain a strong, receptive attitude, you will find comprehension will be easier because you are not fighting yourself. Fighting reading is much like panicking while swimming. The secret is to relax.
5.) Upgrade Poor physical Habits
It’s difficult to comprehend what you read when you are tired, sleepy, depressed, or in pain. Some students complain that their comprehension is poor while doing their reading at three in the morning. at that hour, many couldn’t comprehend the morning newspaper. It is critical not only to be alert, but relaxed. Be comfortable and in tune with the subject of the book. Reading posture definitely affects comprehension. Sit at a desk when possible. Study in a upright position with the book flat on the table, fifteen or more inches away. The more stretched out and relaxed your study position, the more you will encourage this usual result-drowsiness, poor concentration, or sleep. If you want comprehension, speed and retention, sit up alertly and act as though you are serious about accomplishing the task.
6.) Use the Multilayered learning Process
The study procedure described in the previous guide is an extremely useful too for comprehension. Basically it involves approaching the material on several levels, and taking notes after each. As a review, here are the steps:
• Prepare and preview the material, nothing boldfaced headings, summaries, subtitles, visual aids, and topic sentences. Map out your notes with key ideas. Browse through the material, becoming aware of its structure, complexity and organization
• Ask questions, set your purpose-exactly what level of comprehension do you need? How far a way is the exam? With your purpose in mind, set a realistic chapter or section goal
• Gather your answers. Reading the material, a chapter at a time, moving as quickly as you can understand the ideas. Stop after each page and add details to your notes to support the main ideas.
• Evaluate. Review your notes and text, filling in gaps, viewing the overall content and organization and refreshing your memory. Think about it and recall the information.
7.) Organize what you read.
Your mind seeks organization, logical sequences, and order. Give it a chance to comprehend the material by grouping ideas and details into meaningful blocks. Restructure the material into easy-to-picture thoughts. Use every possible combination of thought-pictures that will work. When you perceive the unity and structure of the material you are studying you will grasp its meaning much faster. Strive toward understanding the structure as well as the details
8.) Write as you Read
Get in the habit of recalling on paper immediately what you have read. Because you will understand each point better, the following point will be that much clearer. Comprehension depends upon understanding each preceding idea. The better you understand and recall one idea, the more likely you will understand the next. Stick to each part of the study process and you will find comprehension becoming a habit.
REVIEW THESE POINTS
Reading for speed
• You can read much faster
• Read with your hand
• Learn to adjust your rates according to the material and purpose
• See yourself as a good reader
• See more words at a time
Reading for comprehension
• Read quickly to improve concentration
• Read actively for greater meaning
• Read to understand not to memorize
• Maintain proper attitude and desire
• Upgrade poor physical habits
• Use the multi-layerd learning process
• Organize what you read
• Write as you read