Reading a Chapter

Survey & Question: Before You Read


  • Read the title.
  • Read the introduction (or first paragraph).
  • Read the summary (or last paragraph).
  • Read the headings/subheadings.
  • Study all visual material.
  • Look at key terms.


  • Why?
    • To enhance comprehension.
    • To motivate you; if your only goal is to do a “boring” assignment, you will not learn/remember much.
  • How?
    • Turn headings/subheadings into questions.
    • Ask factual (who, what, when, etc.) questions.
    • Also ask interpretive questions (compare/contrast etc.).
  • When?
    • As you survey the chapter.
    • You can continue this as you read the chapter.


  • Before you read a section, try to answer the questions you have posed, and/or define key terms.
  • If necessary, add more questions/important points, and circle key terms.
  • Vary your reading rate (range from deep study to skim).
  • Your goal: to avoid rereading difficult passages.
    • This slows you down and may increase frustration.
    • Reading the rest of the chapter may clarify it.



  • After reading each section.


  • Helps you to organize and store information.


  • Orally:
    • Ask/answer your questions/definitions out loud.
    • Scan to locate answers, if necessary; do not reread.
  • In writing:
    • Try mapping for difficult/confusing sections.
    • Make vocabulary/concept cards.



  • At least 3 times per week.


  • To further consolidate/associate/reduce.
  • To commit to long-term memory.


  • Recite from the margins of previous chapters before reading the next one.
  • Skip sections you know well.
  • Review sessions become shorter and shorter.