Next, look at the book`s structure and preview these elements. Most books have jackets or covers which point out some of the features of the book. Look over the title page, preface, introduction, or foreword, chapter headings, chapter subheadings, and index. These elements will give you a sense of the subject matter and how it will be presented. If the book includes illustrations, diagrams, charts, graphs, quizzes, practice questions, or a glossary, scan them quickly to get a sense of the information transmitted and clarity of presentation. Now, map out the information you have gathered. You can do this on paper or in your mind, but take a moment to specify the main idea of the book and its supporting arguments or sections. Your map might be in outline form using the contents listing as a start or you might construct a memory tree with the basic idea as the trunk and the subsidiary ideas as branches.
Understanding what you read is critical to extracting the information you need. And while factors like having a large vocabulary contribute to understanding what the author intended, another technique can help you comprehend more of the information more thoroughly. That technique is pre-reading. You do not have to be a "good" reader to benefit from this approach. Here`s how to increase your reading comprehension for any book. First, decide what you need to know from the book. Are you reading this book to glean information for your job or for a class in school? Does it contain the information you need? Are you reading it because you want to learn how to do something? Does it explain the processes in sufficient detail? Are you reading this book for pleasure? Knowing what your goal is will help you determine how you will read it.
Did you know that 50% of students in four year colleges fail to graduate? Did you know that the average four year college student who does graduate now takes on average six years to complete their studies? And the Federal Education Department is projecting it will take an average four year college student eight years to complete their studies in another three years from now. Many of these drop outs left college because of the difficulties they experienced with college level reading comprehension. Finally, did you know that 70% of students in two year colleges fail to graduate? That`s right only 30% of two year college students actually graduate. If you were a parent and you thought getting your student into college was a challenge, then guess what? You were wrong. Getting your student a diploma is far more challenging. If you are student and you thought getting into college was the real challenge. Then you were wrong too! One thing is clear. If we are ever going to get back to being a successful nation these statistics must change. Teaching our students how comprehend while reading, improve their math and writing skills will play a major role. Right now the numbers are getting worst. Our economic future is imperiled by this educational crisis. We need to start fixing these problems now, or everyone will suffer in the future. Don`t you agree?