Letting your eyes glide across the lines of a book won’t give you an understanding of what you have read. However, filling the pages with thoughtful notes may be an active way of getting involved with your reading. The physical act of writing brings words and sentences more sharply before your mind and preserves them better in our memory. It is important that notes be in your own words and from memory. You can write in the margins (including the top and bottom of the pages), back and front papers and the space between the lines. After you finish reading, make a personal index of the author’s points in the order of their appearance on the back end papers. On the front papers, make an outline of the book, not page by page or point by point, but as an integrated structure with a basic unit and order or parts. These marks and notes, with all your points of agreement, disagreement, doubts and inquiry, become an integral part of the book. If you can’t mark the book use a small scratch pad for your notes and insert the sheet in the book.
Underline only after you have a predetermined section of the material. Never underline a whole sentence. Instead, underline major points and important or forceful phrases by picking out words which summarize the content. A great deal of underlining can be deceptive in that a completely underlined chapter gives one the impression that something has been accomplished. In reality, this can be one of the least efficient methods of study. The student who underlines most of the material has not given much thought to what he/she has read.
Other Devices for Marking a Book
Textbook Studying Guides
Study reading is unlike casual fiction reading. You must know what you are reading for; you must be able to organize the ideas and connect them with what has gone before. You must be able to relate ideas to knowledge and experience you have already gained. Most crucial beyond comprehension, the student is expected to remember the essential ideas, facts, and supporting material. Even when you are reading, concurrent (happens at the same time) forgetting will erase at least 50 percent and this will be reduced further unless some kind of recitation-review takes place immediately. In as much as our reading needs must include remembering as well as comprehension, the following study approach is offered. It includes:
1. SURVEY AND Question (general questions)
2. STUDY READ AND Question (continuously)
3. RECITE AND Self-Question AND Write
4. REVIEW VIA Questions