Chapter 1-1: Recommended Reading Comprehension Strategies

Reading > Reading for Understanding > Comprehension Strategies

Here is a list of recommended reading comprehension strategies:

  • Making Connections

    • Make connections with prior knowledge and experiences. This should assist you in understanding the ideas and concepts expressed in the texts you read.

    • As you read, pause and consider how what you’re reading connects with what you already know.

    • As you read, pause and consider how the text you’re reading will help you understand challenging concepts.

    • As you read, try to understand how important concepts in the text itself are related.

    • As you read, try to connect the text with other texts of the same genre or topic.

  • Visualizing

    • Visualizing is the creation of a mental image in order to create meaning from a text.

    • Imagine what your text would look like if it were presented on TV, as a video, or as a video game.

  • Inferring

    • Inferring can be thought of as the process of “reading between the lines”, interpreting a text, making predictions, and drawing conclusions.

    • For example, if your boyfriend or girlfriend comes home and stomps into the room, slams the door shut, and takes a deep breath, most people would be able to infer something of this.

  • Determining Importance

    • Determining importance is a skill that involves the ability to distinguish between essential and irrelevant information in order to identify key ideas or themes in a text.

    • As a strategy, examine the structure of the text. For example, take a look at the thesis statement (main idea) and the topic sentences. Try to determine what the author’s message is.

    • Distinguish between narrative and expository text.

    • Assign an invisible scale of relevance to the information being provided on a scale of 1 to 10.

    • Examine the illustrations or other graphics to help you better understand the information that the text attempts to convey.

    • Examine the table of contents, the index, and the glossary to better understand the organization and content of the text.

    • Summarize the important or overarching ideas in the text

  • Synthesizing

    • Synthesizing draws upon making connections, questioning, visualizing, inferring, and determining importance.

    • To synthesize is to “step back” and consider the text as a whole. Some people say that this is when you have an “aha” moment or that you “get the gist” of the text.

    • Draw new conclusions from the text that were not explicitly stated. What would the implications be if you took the claims in the text seriously?

  • Questioning

    • Questioning occurs before, during, and after reading a text.

    • Ask Who? What? Where? When? Why?

    • Look for clues in and around the text that can help you answer these questions.

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Attribution information for this page: Written by Jamie Bridge
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