Basic Reading Strategies

Reading is an essential skill for most adults to possess. Unfortunately, many adults find reading to be a very difficult task. Luckily, there are several basic reading strategies to help increase a person's reading abilities. Reading, like any other skill, requires an extensive amount of practice; only with dedication will reading improve over time.

Preview the Reading Material

Before any reading begins, it is a good idea to skim through the intended material. By previewing the information first, the reader can get an idea of what the work is about. For example, headings, pictures, and captions typically provide information regarding the subject or storyline of the book or article. Having a general idea of what is in the work helps the reader to better anticipate what they will be reading. In addition, predicting what type of words may be used can often make the process easier.

Re-read if Necessary

If the reader comes across a word or phrase that they do not understand, it may be helpful to start over at the beginning of a sentence or paragraph and re-read the material. Re-reading a confusing section helps the reader determine what the writer's intention is. In addition, this allows the reader to consider the context of the word or phrase. However, if the remaining portion of the sentence or paragraph is understandable, a reader can typically assume what the unknown word or phrase is supposed to mean. Lastly, re-reading aids in comprehension of confusing text.

Stop and Review

Often times, a reader will complete a long text and be unable to fully remember what they have read. In light of this, it can be very helpful to stop while reading to review what has already been read. As a result, this will help ensure that all information is understood. Sometimes, while reading an article this may mean stopping only once to review. However, if the material is difficult or lengthy, it is a good idea to review each chapter as it is completed.

Discussion is Important

Discussing reading material with someone who has also read the text can help the reader confirm that they fully understand the topic. In addition, the reader can get a different perspective on the meaning of the writing. Each person may read the same material, but come away with a different perspective on what the author is saying. By discussing the writing, the reader can summarize the subject matter. In addition, summarizing helps to not only confirm an understanding of the words, but also, memorization.

The improvement of reading skills can be a very long process. However, the result will always be rewarding. Having the ability to read proficiently is a skill that all adults should desire not only for themselves, but also, for their children. With this in mind, not being able to read at an appropriate level will make functioning in the world very difficult. Because of this, each and every person should have the desire to improve their own skills, making life just a little bit easier for themselves and their children.