Key No. 2
Reading With A Purpose
Why? What Else? What Should?
Applying "I wonder why?" to all reading material will
maximise your benefits from reading.
The Objectives of Reading with a Purpose
All reading should be carried out with a purpose
in mind. The purpose when reading a newspaper should be to determine the
reasons for the latest political situation, the poor financial state of
affairs, the problems of a space shot, the bad football result, the current
disasters, last night's T.V. debacle etc. In the case of a novel the purpose
should be to experience and interact with the story as it unfolds, or to
participate in solving a mystery. Whether you are reading a text book, an
autobiography or an encyclopaedia the approach should always be to read with a
purpose in mind, to find an answer, an opinion, a fact or some inspiration.
In the world of business, documents and reports should be read to determine financial situations, market strategies, causes of problems and reasons for proposed developments. Memos and letters should be read to determine what action has been taken or what action should be undertaken.
Similarly in the field of education it is necessary to extract from text books and course notes the necessary information, the solutions to problems, the research data and all the general and specific knowledge required when following a particular line of study in order to build up your own data base.
The ability to apply "I wonder why?" to all reading material or the development of an aptitude to seek out answers to possible or typical examination questions is of great importance in consolidating your reading with a purpose.
The benefits of reading with a purpose are
numerous. A greater interest is developed in the subject, comprehension and
recall are dramatically improved, analytical and critical skills are focused
and your ability to arrive at a conclusion about the information you are
reading becomes decisive.
The "Read With A Purpose" Technique
1. Read with a purpose the book's title, the
chapters' headings and the sections' titles, as these will indicate to you what
information should be obtained from the text being read.
2. Read with a purpose the book's introduction and summary, the chapters' summaries, notes and conclusions, as these will give you an overview of the information contained in the book and in each chapter, highlighting specific areas for consideration and information. These sections can then be studied in detail.
3. Read with a purpose these sections and find the key points the author wants you to obtain, or those you want to obtain particularly as answers to typical or possible examination questions. Examine all illustrations, tables, diagrams and charts for information.
4. Read with a purpose by anticipating, participating, interrogating, rejecting, and extrapolating, if necessary, the author's information by applying a questioning technique.
5. Read with the purpose of compiling or composing key points and ancillary points for future revision.
6. Combine these key points and ancillary points into a format in your notes which will be most suited to your learning ability.
7. Read and re-read homework questions, examination questions, instructions, business letters etc. with the purpose of determining precisely what is required to be done.