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Learning Portal - Study Skills : Reading with Purpose

Reading With Purpose

This module will explain reading strategies to help you understand the information needed to be successful in your classes. College textbooks can cover a lot of complicated or highly technical information. Simply reading through your texts will not be enough for you to retain the information.

Top Tips

✓ Highlight. As you read, highlight important information so that you can find it again later. Don’t highlight too much, though - you want the most important points to stand out.

✓ Write in the margins. Annotate your text with comments, questions, examples, and more.

✓ Read out loud. Rather than reading silently in your head, read your material out loud, either to someone else or to an invisible audience.

✓ Explain what you’ve read to someone else. Relaying information to other people helps you understand it better. It can also help you notice information that you haven’t quite grasped.

✓ Test yourself. After you’ve read a chapter, try to write down the key points without checking the text.

SQ4R Reading Technique 

Watch this video (The Learning Portal Ontario, 2017) about the SQ4R reading technique to help you actively engage with your study material. 


SQ4R Six Steps

  1. SURVEY: Flip through the chapter quickly to get a sense of what is covered. Look at headings and keys terms, and read the final paragraph.

  2. QUESTION: Turn headings into questions to guide your reading. You can keep track of your questions by using the Cornell Method of note-taking.

  3. READ: Read the chapter, looking for the answers to the questions you posed.

  4. REFLECT: Think about what you have read, and relate it to other information you have learned.

  5. RECITE: Without looking at the text, restate your question and formulate an answer in your own words.

  6. REVIEW: At the end of the chapter, look over your notes and familiarize yourself with key points.

How to Use Active Reading Techniques Video

Watch this video (The Learning Portal Ontario, 2016) to learn about active reading techniques that can help you learn the material.

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