Survey reading

Letís look at the basics of learning how to comprehend when reading.

  1. Look at a book cover. What information is the author/publisher giving you about the story? What does the title suggest? Why did they use this particular graphic on the cover?

  2. Read the Table of Contents. Itís an outline of the story.

  3. Read the Introduction or Preface. It gives you a good idea of where the author wants to take you.

  4. Can you make any predictions about the story with this information alone?

  5. Look at the back cover. What are the comments being made by critics who have read the book? What other clues can you pick up?

  6. Preview the book to make sure itís what you are looking for. Skim the headings and subheadings.

  7. Remember that the first and last sentences of a paragraph give you the essence of that paragraph, especially when reading non-fiction.

  8. What do you know about the subject? Prior knowledge will help you to fill in information, to understand vocabulary words and concepts the author wants you to know.

"People often read slowly and carefully, because teachers in elementary schools require students to sound and read the word aloud, which takes longer than "seeing" the word. As a young student matures he continues pronouncing each word in his mind as he reads" (Foster) Reciting the word in your head is called subvocalization and is what slows a reader down.