Reading Skills

1. Determine reading purpose and rate before beginning.

2. Intend to remember what you read and take notes.

3. Use SQ3R

4. Know your textbook and how to use it.

5. Learn to predict, clarify, and summarize.

6.Question while you read-read to answer the questions.

7. Read then recite what you read.

8. Discuss what you read.

9. Review what you already know about the topic before reading.

10. Watch for “signal words” that indicate main ideas and important details.

11. Remember the results of your learning styles assessment.

12. Choose reading tools that focus on your strengths and minimize your weaknesses.


Reading is a primary source for gaining information and learning. Just as there are any number of ways and reasons to do anything, so it is with reading. To learn, apply, and master specific reading strategies is to make study time more efficient and effective. It is time well-spent. In fact, it is guaranteed to save you time in the long run.

There are numerous aids that you can use to increase your reading “brain power.” Pre-reading techniques give you an “overview” and help you determine the importance of the materials as well as your purpose and rate for reading. Flexible reading habits lead to quality study skills and increased memory. Learning how to survey textbooks, skim, spot “signal words,” find main ideas, check for comprehension, and read illustrations will improve your understanding and grades. So, give the following reading hints and methods a try, and soon they will become habits you’ll want to keep.

 Determining Reading Purpose       

There are many ways to do any one thing-many approaches to solving a problem, painting a picture, and achieving desired results. Reading for different purposes is no different. You probably would not read a newspaper in the same manner and with the same goal as you would read a science textbook. You would read a pamphlet about how to construct a bookshelf differently than you would a novel or short story.

 It is very important that the purpose and kind of material be appropriate for your reading speed. First, determine the type of material you are going to read. Find out if it is: 

  • new information
  • review material/information
  • purely for enjoyment
  • fiction
  • nonfiction
  • technical 

Secondly, set your purpose for reading the selection by asking yourself:             


  • for a test
  • for enjoyment
  • for the main ideas
  • to discuss later
  • to get an overall, general view 



  • mastery of subject 
  • understanding the concept 
  • understanding the plot/characters  


  • details
  • author’s mood, opinion, intent
  • sequence of events
  • cause/effect
  • relationships 

Once you clearly understand your goal and the type of reading paterial, match these with appropriate reading rate. 

In summary:  

1. Determine type of material

2. Set a purpose

3. Decide reading rate

4. Read


Frender, G. (2004). Learning to learn. Nashville, TN: Incentive Publications