Generally speaking, the reading for comprehension process follows these steps:
- Choose what you read — this is a high speed filtering process
- Read according to the reading material type – fiction and nonfiction are not read at the same speed or for the same purpose
- Preview the reading material/book
- Read with Intent
Choose what you read.
…Our new times call for new ways of searching for, filtering, consuming, and applying knowledge in order to improve our lives. — Michael Simmons
Choosing what you read is a this is a high-speed filtering process, where you glean for potential value and apply Sturgeon’s Law, which states that 90% of all work produced is crap.
This would seem to be an obvious thing, but not all reading materials are equally valuable, If valuable at all. This is especially true when it comes to email, newsfeeds, and, especially, social media. Time spent reading less valuable materials is obviously times subtracted from reading the important stuff. If you choose to read a newspaper and pay more attention to the sports section than you do the business section you’re obviously not helping your business knowledge.
Skimming items that appears to have some potential will allow you to either discard the reading material, not of importance, or to move on to the Scanning and Reading Process.
Read according to the Reading material type.
“The exact number of words per minute is far less important than the fact that this value [The exact number of words per minute] cannot be greatly increased without seriously compromising comprehension.”– Mark Seidenberg
Reading a comic book, or a novel does not entail the same level of complexity nor does it contain as much valuable information as reading a textbook or a business book, or even a highly technical manual. So, you can clearly read a work of fiction, like a romance or sci-fi novel or your favorite Fiction genre, much more rapidly without losing comprehension or missing valuable material, which must be comprehended learned, and retained, if there really is any. However, if you read nonfiction reading materials at the same speed that you would read your favorite fiction materials you very seriously run the risk of missing valuable information or not comprehending it, or even worse miss comprehending it. You also run a very high risk of not retaining much of it.
Preview The Reading Material/Book
- If reading nonfiction, apply the rules of scanning before you begin the formal reading process.
- This will improve your comprehension, and your retention a bit of nonfiction information scanning which applies the principle of reading and re-reading.
- This will allow you to familiarize yourself with the information and allow you to comprehend the important information faster more completely and retain more of it.
- Well, scanning does not involve reading all of it quickly reading the important bits and re-reading it even if you read more quickly than you normally would will allow you to comprehend it faster because you will of seen the important snippets of information more than once and therefore they’re more likely to stick in your brain cells.
Read With intent
- Eliminate distractions, interruptions, and definitely no multitasking
- Read the essential portions of the reading materials being sure to reread those item which you have already scanned.
- Annotate as you go, by highlighting, underlining, adding notes and ideas, so you can quickly come back to the important detail easily.
- Keep your own notes or write you own summary to reference and or share with others.