How to read a manual

How to read a manual
How to read a manual

Reading a manual can seem like a difficult task. The latter may contain ironic language with several unfamiliar expressions and words. You may be overwhelmed by the large number of pages you are required to read. However, there are ways that will make you feel more comfortable and confident when reading. To do this, you need to know your textbook better (before you start your homework), take enough time to actually read it, and review the content.


Part 1 of 3: understanding your manual

Read a Textbook Step 1

Step 1. Look at the cover

Is there any artwork or pictures that can give you an idea of ​​what topics you might study? What about the title? Is this book for beginners or for someone with an advanced level?

  • Use the title to get more specific ideas about the course. If it is a history book, does that mean that the course will focus on the history of humanity or on the history of colonial France? What do you already know about this subject?
  • What do you know about the author, publisher and date of publication? Is it an old book or a whole new one?
Read a Textbook Step 2

Step 2. Review the table of contents, glossary, and terminology index

How many chapters does the book contain? And how many pages make these chapters? What about the sub-chapters? What are the titles of the chapters and sub-chapters?

Does the book contain a series of appendices or a glossary? Is there a bibliography? What types of words are listed in the index?

Read a Textbook Step 3

Step 3. Browse the book to see titles and pictures

Flip through the pages. What immediately catches your attention? Take note of chapter titles, bold words, vocabularies, pictures, drawings, graphics and diagrams. What indication do these elements give you in relation to what you are going to learn in the book?

You can also browse the book to assess the level of difficulty in reading the text. Randomly open a page with more text (with few images) and read it to see if you can figure something out. Calculate how long it will take you to read this page

Part 2 of 3: read correctly

Read a Textbook Step 4

Step 1. Read the end of the chapter first

Here is how it will be done. Go to the end of the chapter and read the summary and the questions there. This is the best way for you to get an idea of ​​what you will read in the chapter. This will prepare your brain, allow it to go through and better understand all of the more detailed information that is actually in the chapter.

Then read the introduction to the chapter. This method also makes your brain ready to receive a lot of information and helps it absorb it

Read a Textbook Step 5

Step 2. Break up your assignment into 10-page sections

After each section, review your highlights and any notes you made in the margins and in your notepad. This will allow you to remember what you have read for a long time.

Follow the next steps in this section using the 10 page score technique. When you have finished reading and briefly reviewing ten pages, continue with ten more. Otherwise, take a quick break, then resume work on the next ten pages

Read a Textbook Step 6

Step 3. Bookmark your book

If the book is yours (you haven't borrowed it from someone or it's not owned by a public school), you should mark it. There is a specific way to do it well. So pay attention to this level.

  • Don't stop highlighting parts or taking notes during the first reading. It disrupts your understanding and you might end up marking unnecessary parts.
  • You should wait until you finish an entire paragraph or a short section (depending on the number of sections) before going back to score. This way you will know what is important enough to highlight.
  • Do not highlight separate words (too small) or entire sentences (a little too much). Just mark up one or two phrases per paragraph. The purpose of tagging is to allow you to take a look at tagged phrases a month later and be able to understand the gist of what you've read without having to reread the entire document.
Read a Textbook Step 7

Step 4. Write down the questions in the margin

In the margins of the document (or on post-its in case the book is not yours), write down one or two questions per paragraph or section, which you should be able to answer after reading the paragraph or section. It could be questions like What are the years that are considered to be those of the Renaissance? or What is metamorphosis?

After you have read the whole assignment, you should therefore go back and try to answer these questions without doing a proofreading

Read a Textbook Step 8

Step 5. Take notes

In a notepad that you have dedicated to the course, write in YOUR OWN TERMS the big ideas of what you read in each section. It is very important that you take notes your way.

By doing this, you avoid plagiarism in case you have to write an essay. If you hadn't copied your notes directly from the book, you'll be more confident that you can really understand something

Read a Textbook Step 9

Step 6. Bring your questions and notes to class

This will allow you to be ready for class discussions or text-related lessons. Be sure to pay attention, participate in class, and take other notes! Your teacher will tell you if the homework will be based largely on the lessons or the book, but sometimes he will not tell you and for that, it is better if you are ready for anything.

Part 3 of 3: Make time to review, read and study

Read a Textbook Step 10

Step 1. Multiply the number of pages in your assignment by five minutes

This is the time it takes an average student to read the pages of a textbook. Take this into account when planning time for your reading.

For example, if you have to go through a 73-page assignment, that gives you 360 minutes or about six hours of reading

Read a Textbook Step 11

Step 2. Take breaks

If by your calculations you have four hours of reading, it is best that you do not do all four hours in a row. You may end up feeling tired and distracted.

Read for an hour at lunch break, an hour at night, and so on. Try to stretch yourself a bit, taking into account how many days you have to finish the pages you have to read as well as how long it will take to read them

Read a Textbook Step 12

Step 3. Read every day

If you are late, you'll end up going through the book and reading it quickly, which can cause you to miss important information. Schedule time for reading each day so that you can progress without stress.

Read a Textbook Step 13

Step 4. Read in an area free from distractions

This is very important. You can't expect to understand much if there is noise around you.

  • If possible, avoid reading while lying down. Your brain probably associates bed with sleep and if you read in bed, that's what will eventually happen. Sleep experts also claim that working in bed can lead to sleep problems and only reading and relaxing activities that need to be done in bed. This way, you won't have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.
  • Find a quiet place in your home, go to the library, a quiet cafeteria, or a park to read. Any place where there aren't enough distractions will do. If you have a family (or roommates) or have multiple loads around the house, you better get out. If having people around you distracts you, but your home is very quiet, stay there. Whichever method works for you, you can experience it and see where you can study best.
Read a Textbook Step 14

Step 5. Know what you will be evaluated on

Will you be asked to write an essay or will you have a major review that will cover the entire document? During an assignment, does the teacher provide you with a textbook? Take all of these factors into account as you focus on what you'll spend the most time reviewing while you study.

Read a Textbook Step 15

Step 6. Read your notes repeatedly

If you read well, mark parts and take notes, you will only have to read the manual once. What you will therefore have to read during your review will only be the phrases you have highlighted, the questions or notes that you have written in the margins as well as the explanations that you have written in your notepad.

Read them as many times as necessary to fully understand the document. If you haven't written much down, you may need to read it a second time

Read a Textbook Step 16

Step 7. Talk to others about what you are learning

Studies have shown that learning aloud has huge benefits.

  • Form study groups with your classmates or tell a loved one or another friend what you learn.
  • Make sure you attend all classes, not just exam or homework days. There are probably discussions or lessons that focus on the manual, and these are very useful when you have to learn the lessons later.
Read a Textbook Step 17

Step 8. Complete all of the exercises given to you

If the teacher gives you math exercises to do or questions to which you have to give short answers, but the homework assignments are not necessarily graded, do them anyway. You have been given the assignment for one purpose, which is to help you understand the course better from the book.

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