Intro: Learn how to speed read large academic books. If you are in college, graduate school, or working a professional job, you probably have to read several books every week to prepare for class work or your work related assignments. Although you are a fast reader, you are probably not a strategic or tactical reader. You need to speed read strategically and tactically to mentally devour large boring encyclopedic books, magazines, and articles. Being able to speed read has enormous benefits for both students and professionals. This article offers you several steps to increase your reading speed and comprehension of large books, magazines, and articles.
Step 1: Read the introduction before jumping to the conclusion of the book. This tells you how the book begins and how it will end. You probably already know the subject and details of the book before reading the narrative, but this technique shows readers the angle of the author. This is the strategic method because it reveals to readers the agenda of the author.
Step 2: Read only the introductory paragraph for every chapter in the book because good writers summarize every chapter before carrying the reader through the details. If you have more time, begin by reading the first sentence of every paragraph in the book because good writers reveal the details of the paragraph in their first sentence. This is the tactical approach to dissecting a book. Many large books are understood better when you read them tactically.
Step 3: Read paragraphs that contain likely examination or work related information when you are studying for the test. You will be able to determine this information only if you attend class regularly or go to work daily. If you have time to read the entire book, then skim and reduce your time fixating on a word to a minimum because fast readers consume words in blocks.
Step 4: Use your pointer or your finger to focus and guide your reading because you may become lost during fast reading. Move your finger or pointer at a constant rate, as you get better you can increase the rate. Do not go back and read something you have already passed by, your goal is to only extract the most significant information that you need in the shortest amount of time and not the insignificant details. Do not sound words out mentally as you read because this only slows you down.
Step 5: Finally, practice is the key to improving reading speed and comprehension because eventually you will not need your pointer or your finger because your eyes and mind will become more focused on the narrative. In addition, focus your concentration by avoiding internal and external distractions. Find a quiet place to practice your speed reading where the lighting is not too bright. Loud noises from your television, radio, and CD or DVD player may cause you to read more slowly and hinder how you process and remember what you have read. Reading strategically and tactically is very effective for either slow or fast readers because comprehension and remembering what you have been reading is more important than speed.
Related Sources: Writing Well by Laurie Rozakis, Ph.D. ;Technical Writing by Krista Van Laan and Catherine Julian; Grammar and Style by Laurie E. Rozakis, Ph.D.; Writing Well; Laurie Rozakis, Ph.D.