Here are a few strategies to help you read a lot of material quickly.
Skim reading can be helpful. According to the Student Success Centre, "getting a quick overview will help you read faster, understand better and remember more."
Start by looking at the table of contents or index to see what parts might cover your specific topic. Consider reading the introduction to get a broad overview.
If the book's chapters have summaries, read them to see what the author considers important.
Read headings, words in bold, look at tables, graphs and illustrations. These are cues to important ideas.
Rather than scroll through an entire document to find a particular term, you can search the entire text of most documents or webpages by hitting Ctrl+F (Windows) or Command+F (Mac). A search box will appear and once you enter the word you want to find, it will be highlighted everywhere it occurs in the document.
Depending on whether you are required to read a text, trying to locate specific information, or understand specific ideas, you may or may not need to read an entire book, article or chapter in detail.
Many operating systems (Windows 7 or 8 and Mac) have narrator functions that will read documents aloud. The Library also has specialized software, ClaroRead Plus, installed on all workstations that will read documents aloud while highlighting the text so you can follow along. It can also quickly convert and save your documents as narrated audio files. Just remember to bring your headphones if you want to use these features in the Library!
The Library Research Skills Tutorial is subject to a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial ShareAlike 4.0 International license
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