Reading & Retaining

Retaining information from your reading, especially on subjects that are of marginal interest, required an overall strategy.

  1. Make a list of 3-5 questions, the answer to which you expect to find in the text. This will give your reading clear objectives. If, say, you intend to read able the American War of Independence, you might ask: when did this take place? Who did it start? Who were the major players on both sides? How was the conflict resolved?
  2. Check the context of the book or journal for clues as to where essential information lies. Then scan the index, nothing noting down reference to topic that you need to cover in order to answer question. Concentrate only on these page references.
  3. Each paragraph will normally have a “topic sentence” which summarises its central and formulate. Trace the logic of the argument. Could you reproduce this logic in a debate?
  4. Draw a mind map. From the central image, draw lines outward for each theme. From these draw lines for topic sentences. Keep going until you have an instant reference chart.

Reference:  O’ Brien Domimic, 2000, Learn to Remember, Duncan Baird Publicher, page 131.

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