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.

External Resources

Maintaining this website requires alerts and feedback from the students that use it when they see a problem or have a suggestion.

Attribution information for this page: Written by Jamie Bridge
Page keywords: reading comprehension