If you want to remember what you read, you must become a critical reader. Become a critical reader by knowing your purpose for reading the material, creating mental images of important concepts and ideas, and asking yourself questions as you read the material. Finally, store the information in your long-term memory bank by discussing the material with other people, rewriting the material in your own words, and rereading important concepts and ideas.
Part 1 of 3: Get to Read and Remember
Step 1. Determine what goal you hope to achieve by reading the material
Ask yourself something like "Why am I reading this?" or "What am I supposed to learn after reading this?" By understanding your purpose for reading the material, you can stay on task and focus on the most relevant parts of the text.
For example, if you have in mind that you read the material because of a test, that will help you focus on the important dates, events and people
Step 2. Get familiar with the topic
Familiarize yourself with the subject by doing a quick search on the Internet. The more you understand and know about a particular topic, the more likely you will be able to make associations and remember the information better.
For example, if you are going to read about Islam, type "Islam" into your search engine. Then click on an article (for example, a Wikipedia article) and familiarize yourself with the basic principles of Islam
Step 3. Take a look at the material
Before reading the material, take note of the headings, images, tables, announcements, graphics, and opening paragraphs. Focus on the important information that serves the purpose for which you read the material.
By browsing through the material, you prepare your memory and guide your thinking so that you can focus on the important information. In addition, it helps you to formulate a broader picture of the content, which makes it easier to remember important information
Step 4. Read short segments
Reading when you can't concentrate is a waste of time. Therefore, in order to maximize your concentration, read short segments. For example, read only one section, or read only 10-15 minutes at a time. Once you do, go over what you just read in your mind.
Increase your reading stamina by constantly increasing the amount of time you read each day or week. For example, if you read short 10-15 minute segments one week, read 20-25 minute segments the next week
Part 2 of 3: Becoming a Critical Reader
Step 1. Take notes
As you read, write down the relevant information. The tactile act of writing will help you remember information better. For example, if you read about Islam, write down the five principles of Islam.
You can also underline concepts or write down ideas that come to mind as you read
Step 2. Highlight the important concepts
Try to highlight only important and relevant information. For example, highlight only a few keywords on a page. So, before highlighting something, ask yourself a question like "Does this information serve the purpose for which I read the material?" If the answer is negative, then you'd better not highlight it.
Step 3. Link the material to something you know
Associate the new information with the information you already know. Thus, by associating new information with information that you already know, your brain will store the new information in your long-term memory bank.
For example, if a former president was born in the same month as your mother, by linking his birthday with that of someone you know, you can better remember the date
Step 4. Think in pictures
Creating mental images for the content you read will help you remember it better than what would happen if you read the content without any mental images. Make mental pictures of important events, concepts, or people.
- For example, in the case of a major battle, you can remember when it started by imagining it in your head with the date in large letters.
- You could also try drawing the battle scene and writing the start and end date underneath.
Step 5. Read aloud
If you are an auditory learner, try to read important material out loud. The tactile act of speaking and listening to the material will allow you to remember it better. In particular, read out loud the important information you underlined, as well as the answers to the questions.
You can also use word association to remember important information. For example, create rhymes or songs to help you remember important information
Step 6. Ask yourself questions about the material
As you read the material, ask yourself "How does this material fit into what I already know and don't know?", "Why did the author mention that?", "Do I understand this concept or word?", "Where is the evidence? of this statement? " or "Do I agree with the author's conclusions?"
By asking yourself and answering those questions, you will be able to remember relevant information much better
Part 3 of 3: Remember what you read
Step 1. Rewrite what you read in your own words
After you finish reading a section, write what you read in your own words. This will help you assess what information you remember and what information you cannot remember. Reread information that you may not remember or that you had trouble writing in your own words.
Step 2. Discuss the material with someone
Once you read something, discuss the new information with a friend, family member, or classmate. The act of analyzing the content will create new associations in your memory. It will also help you see what information you understand and can remember and what information you do not understand and cannot remember.
Reread the information that you had trouble relating and remembering. Then discuss the information again with a friend or family member
Step 3. Reread the material
Repetition is essential to remember any type of information. After you read something, review the important concepts and ideas that you highlighted or underlined. Also, reread the paragraph where the concepts and ideas appear.