to understand the material
 to get a good grade in the class
 to pass the test
 to get information for my research paper
 for pleasure
 because I’m bored
 to understand tomorrow’s lecture
 to get ready for tomorrow’s lab
 to prepare my presentation
 because my professor requires me to
 to fall asleep
 to understand the topic better
Source: Kristina Blasen, Image from http://moonstarsandpaper.blogspot.com/
This is a 6 minute lecture on active reading with tips on how to be an active reader vs. a passive reader.
Source: Kristina Blasen
Reading is not just reading the words on the page. When you read, it is important to first know why you are reading – to have a purpose. Without a purpose, students reading for an assignment tend to go on auto-pilot, skimming the pages with no recall of the information.
Pleasure reading is not the same as reading for an assignment. When you read for pleasure you read for the main ideas and for the storyline. You remember only what interests you. When you read for an assignment you are reading to absorb information, this type of reading requires a higher level of focus and takes more time. In essence, active reading is LEARNING the material and not just reading the assigned pages!
A passive reading approach would be sitting down after dinner and starting on the first page of an assigned chapter and reading straight through to the end. Lots of students do this with highlighter in hand, but then the page ends up almost completely highlighted and the reader doesn’t know what is important!
“Active” readers approach reading assignments with a purpose and develop a plan for assignments that increases comprehension and retention while reducing their time and effort to complete the assignment (Slattery, 2005).
Source: Kristina Blasen, University of Minnesota Student Academic Success Services (SASS), Scott Slattery (2005)
Active Reading PowerPoint slide show.
Source: Kristina Blasen, University of Minnesota Student Academic Success Center (SASS)