Free Essays

How to Work with a Book Effectively

Girl with a Textbook

When starting work with a book, you should first familiarize yourself with the material in general: a table of contents, an annotation, an introduction, and a conclusion by a quick look through, without making any notes. This preview will give an idea of all the material that needs to be learned.

After that, you should proceed to attentive reading – studying the material on chapters, sections, and paragraphs. This is the most important part of the work on acquirement the book material. Read it to yourself.

(At the same time, the reader gets tired less, learns the material about 25% faster compared with reading aloud and has the opportunity to pay more attention to the contents of the written and better comprehend it). You should never bypass the difficult places of the book. They should be read in a slow pace, in order to better understand and comprehend it.

Remember: you cannot expect that it would be possible to achieve a complete clarification of all the features of the material being studied at once. We recommend returning to it the second, third, fourth time, so that what remains incomprehensible is understood and clarified when you read it again.

Studying the book, pay attention to charts, tables, maps, figures, mathematical formulas: to consider them, think over, analyze, establish a connection with the text. This will help to understand and digest the material learned.

When reading it is necessary to use dictionaries, so that any unfamiliar word, term, expression was correctly perceived, understood, and fixed in memory.

Check how fast you read. It is necessary to strive to develop in yourself not only a conscious but also a fluent reading. Especially useful this skill will be when you first view the book. Usually, a 1-2 year student using the mentioned training can carefully read 8-10 pages per hour and make short notes of what has been read. Many students read 5-6 pages. This is extremely little.

Making Notes Process

Too slow reading speed will not allow learning many important and necessary articles of the book. Learning to read quickly (independently or on special courses), you can read up to 50-60 pages per hour and even more! Simultaneously, you acquire the ability to concentrate on the most important things and grasp the main point of the text.

Notating the learned material is the best support for your memory when working with a book (especially scientific). Reading a book, you should make extracts, sketches, draw up diagrams, abstracts, write out numbers, and take notes. It is better to make a notation of the studied literature visually comprehensible, easily observable, and divided into points and paragraphs. Pedagogy teaches – what is read, thought out, and written down becomes really a personal treasure of that one working with the book. Remember the basic principle of writing out from the book: only the most essential and in the shortest form!

Forms of Notation

What forms of notation can I recommend? There are three main forms of writing:

  • 1. A verbatim extract or a quotation in order to back one or another point, the author's argument. This form is used in those cases when it is impossible to write out the author's idea in your own words, without risking losing its essence. It is necessary to correctly write a citation: it does not tolerate the arbitrary substitution of some words by others; Each quotation must be enclosed in quote marks, indicating its source in parentheses: the author's surname and initials, the title of the work, the page, the year of publication, the name of the publishing house.

    The citation should be made only after acquaintance with the article as a whole or with the text closest to the citation. Otherwise, you can snatch separate thoughts that do not always accurately or fully reflect the author's views on this issue as a whole. Remember, however, that photocopying (scanning) replaces the time-consuming writing of verbatim citations!

    Student Typing on a Computer
  • 2. An extract "within the meaning" or the thesis form of a notation.

    The theses are briefly formulated by the reader him/herself the main thoughts of an author. This is the best form of notation. All your future control, course, and degree works will be perfect if they are written in this way. Such an extract is made according to the same rules as the verbatim quotation.

    The theses are brief consisting of one sentence, without explanation, examples, and proofs. The main thing in the theses is the ability to be uncluttered, complete (without losing sense) formulating each issue and main points. Having mastered the art of composing the theses, the student clearly and correctly learns the material.

  • 3. A concise notation is particularly important for knowledge gaining. Your workbook is the most effective form of notation while reading a scientific book. In this case, the most important compound points, theses, thoughts, and ideas of the text are briefly written down. A detailed overview of the content can be an important aid for memorization and an auxiliary tool for finding the appropriate places in the text.

Unusual Technics of Taking Notes

Making in the workbook word-for-word extracts of especially important places in the book, you should not allow the whole workbook to be "a rewrite." The learned thoughts must be expressed in your own words, in your style and manner. A creative summary is the most valuable and beneficial form of the material being noted, including all types of notes: a plan, theses, your own remarks, quotations, and an outline.

You can also make a review of the text by means of a logical structure, instead of following a narrative scheme. With the help of a notational writing down, you can also make the notes regarding the topics covered in separate places in different books. An additional indication of the page numbers will make it easier to find these places.

Man Drawing a Scheme

Develop your own system of extracting and constantly improve it! When drawing up extracts, it is advisable to consistently adhere to the chosen system. On this basis, you can create your own archive or the card-catalogue of special important publications on particular topics.

Workbooks, theses, quotes can have two forms: a notebook and a card one. Under a notebook form, each subject should be given a separate notebook.

If a card form is used, then notes should be made on one side of the card. For ease of use at the top of the card, you must write the name of the question, the author's name, the title, and UDC (universal decimal classification) of the book in question.

You can use standard cards or you can make them from white paper. Cards are usually stored in special boxes or envelopes. This system of notation has a number of advantages over a notebook method: it is convenient to use cards for presentations, during seminars; such a workbook is easy to replenish with new cards. You can change the order of their location achieving a clearer and more logical structure of them.

Finally, you can use a personal computer for the same purposes. Now, there is a great variety of various applications (organizers, etc.), which greatly facilitate the work in the preparation of workbooks of scientific and specialized literature. In addition, using the Internet, you can get ready-made sets of literature.

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