Reading is widely ignored especially in academics, whereas good reading skills are directly proportional to good academic performance. The reason is simple, better reading sense means better comprehension, and better comprehension means better understanding and retention. Unfortunately, in academics, reading is given little importance, while if only this element is worked on, students can drastically improve their other aspects of academics.
Good reading skills are very important. According to Nord Anglia Education (2021), good reading skills help students to get a good hold over the breadth of their curriculum, and improve their communication sense. Moreover, good reading sense inculcates imaginations among children which helps them overcome academic challenges through responding creatively. Hence, reading foundations must be developed strong, and that too early in a student’s life.
In light of this backdrop, the forthcoming article will throw light on the top tips and tricks which can make our reading more comprehensible, and for that matter, we will divide reading skills into three categories: General, Specific, and Expert.
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General reading skills include picking on keywords, having control over good vocabulary and building a good reading habit so that you are not bored or fatigued easily. According to Anderberg (2013), there are four types of readings which include: Elementary, Inspectional, analytical and Syntopical. Elementary reading is reading without a context or just following a plot that the authors have contextualised. While inspectional reading is looking for things that are of interest and avoiding spending time on things that are not relevant. Moving on, analytical reading is a word to word reading and building a solid understanding of the text. Lastly, synoptical reading is building an understanding of a particular topic and for that matter, one may require to go through various books or literature. Hence, general reading skills means knowing what to read and skipping the rest.
Moving on, one of the most famous techniques that hardly any academician misses include the techniques of skimming and scanning. According to Brett (2021), the biggest trick of reading more books include speed reading. The fundamental idea is to read strategically, which means to locate central ideas or main points within the text. Typically, each paragraph’s starting and ending sentence are enough to give you an idea about a paragraph. Similarly, scanning for keywords within a text may also save time and efforts, while giving you an overall idea about a text. Hence, such reading may be superficial, but at the same time it is smart and efficient as well, and that too without losing much meaning of the context.
High school assignments often include annotations, which are jotting notes and commentaries while you are reading. According to Barber (2016), annotating text encourages students to engage more critically with reading and also improves their comprehension. Annotating techniques such as chunking out a text, summarizing, drawing engaging pictures, numbering and ordering helps to remember the context and personalising the text. Hence, annotation helps students to synthesise information for a better understanding of the context.
A very important specific reading skill includes underlining and highlighting. This is quite a cliched techniques but at the same time, it is still one of the widely used technique. One of the advantages of highlighting is that it is eye-catching as the reader can instantly spot the highlighted words. According to Adlit (2021), with the help of this technique students can spot just the very important keywords and the main idea, while highlighting also makes it easy to remember the context for later onwards. Hence, highlighting is still a very useful technique.
As the name suggests, dissecting text is an expert level reading skill that often professionals use to understand complex text. According to Smekens Education (2014), authors often use a certain format for writing depending on what their objective is. Writers usually have some purpose which they are trying to achieve and hence, a written text is basically the writer’s mind which is compositely put in words and syntax, instead of just random thoughts. A well-written text is likely to follow some design and pattern such as sections, headings, transition, paragraphs introductory remarks, conclusion etc. A good reader is likely to spot those sections and invest as little time as possible on sections that do not concern them. Hence, a reader must try to gauge the format of the text. Hence, for that matter, an individual may require practise and additional help from a tutor.
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This is a relatively interesting technique that is little known in the spheres of academicians. According to Mehmet Asıkcana (2017), there are four stages of reading comprehension strategically, and these include pre-reading, during-reading, post-reading and the strategies in the whole reading process. This technique is particularly important to understand complex writeups. According to this technique, a reader must separate the flow of ideas. For instance, if an idea is expressed in one sentence followed by another sentence that amplifies the idea with any further discussion or example, then this whole chuck will be called one flow of idea. A small mark with a pencil may be used to separate the ideas in the entire text. Now a reader should casually reflect on each “flow of idea” as if looking at an object and comprehend its meaning. This technique helps the reader in grasping the entire width of the text, and that too without losing any context. However, this technique may be time-consuming, but this is by far the most solid techniques among high achievers.
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To sum up, reading is a gateway for further upskilling and growth, and for that matter, it is absolutely worth an effort to hone this skill. This article deliberated some general, specific and expert level reading techniques that may help a reader to analyse and comprehend a text in the shortest and smartest way. Hence, after careful analysis, it can be said that upskilling on reading is absolutely important.
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