Notes are useful for you to use as references and memorize. It is the preferred habit of all essay writers. Generally, the information in your textbook explores and complements what you learn in class. However, some teachers expect you to learn from your textbook independently and not necessarily study the academic material in the book with the help of direct instruction. Therefore, it is important that you read, understand, and take notes effectively from your textbook.
Review the chapters
Know the assigned reading.
Review your syllabus, calendar, or class notes that guide you to read a section or sections of the textbook. Ideally, you should read a page of the assigned reading in five minutes. However, if you read slowly, you may need more time to read.
Review the chapter titles and subtitles.
Do a preliminary review of the chapter before you start reading or taking notes. Most textbooks are divided into more assimilable sections that are usually separated by titles. Going through the chapter in advance and looking at the titles and subtitles from beginning to end can give you a general idea of the length and direction of the chapter. You may also notice some keywords as you read if you have seen them in bold captions later in the chapter.
- Similarly, look for words that are in bold. These are usually foundational concepts or vocabulary words that are defined in the chapter or glossary.
- If there are no headings or subheadings in your textbook, read the first sentence of each paragraph.
Examine supplemental informational charts, maps, or charts.
Many students ignore or ignore the information in the charts or tables in a chapter. However, this is bad, as this information is often critical to understanding or reviewing the main concepts in the chapter. Looking at the supplemental academic material (and reading the captions below the pictures or graphics) can help you focus on the essential information as you write.
###Read the “quizzes” at the end of the chapter or section. The questionnaires are provided to ensure that students have achieved a “big picture” or understand the essential concepts of a selection of text. Reading these quizzes ahead of time can help you focus your attention on the most important aspects of a chapter.