Reading a Textbook
- Use a pen and write down key terms/definitions in the margins as you read a textbook — reading actively will save you study time later.
- Don’t stop to reread a section-something you read later may help clarify the information.
- Read rapidly or skim sections that are familiar.
- Do not outline chapters in a separate notebook; using your margins to recite actively what you have read is a much better use of time.
Writing a Research Paper
- Select a topic early; write a sketchy outline and show it to your instructor.
- Select your bibliographic format before you begin compiling a bibliography. Write bibliographic information on 4×6 notecards exactly the way it will appear in your bibliography.
- Take notes on 4×6 notecards putting a source and topic on each card. These cards can be arranged later according to your outline.
Preparing for Exams
- Go over the margins of your text &/or notes. Don’t reread the text.
- Make study sheets using the above information. Organize accordingly to topics. Study sheets promote active learning because you actively write down the key information & recite definitions while you study.
- If you’ve been reading actively, you’ll already remember 70% of the important information. Studying for an exam means that you’re really only reviewing & filling-in a few gaps.
- Study in 2-hour time blocks (50-10-50 min.); marathon studying actually wastes your time because fatigue will impede retention.