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Reading textbooks thoroughly (and efficiently!

Active Reading Strategies

Questions to Ask About the Texts BEFORE You Read:

The class textbook/required texts may be challenging, and your time is valuable! In order to thoroughly understand the texts and finish your readings as soon as possible, take a few extra minutes to ask yourself these questions before you dive into the material:

1. What can I learn from the title?

2. What do I know about the author?

3. When was the text written?

4. What can I learn from skimming the text?

5. Do I need to do a quick “Google” search to find out more information about the author, time, place, etc?

What to do WHILE You Read:

-Write all over the text! Never read without a writing utensil.

-Write yourself notes/questions in the margins, underline key sentences or passages, circle words you don't know or aspects that are unclear.


1. It keeps you awake while you read.

2. Active reading-->thinking-->expression in words-->preserves better in memory-->saves time!

3. Writing while reading helps you remember the thoughts you had, or the main ideas from the text, which makes tests/assignments easier!

What an annotated text should look like

What an annotated text should look like

What an annotated text should look like


Write all over the required text! These are your notes, so make them meaningful to you.

Ask questions before, during, and after you read.

Active reading saves time when you go to write!