By Jennifer Trend, Staff Writer
Reading assignments have always been given out in English classes as long as students can remember, and some dread reading the assigned book and ultimately end up procrastinating. Here’s some ways on how to not only effectively read, but to be able to enjoy it a little more.
1. Set a time on when to read
Everyday, whether it’s before or after you do your homework, or before you sleep, set aside time to read, and commit to it. It’ll help to knock out a few pages off of the book, and you’ll get into the habit of reading a bit each day. And every time you do read, read for fifteen or so minutes and take a short two minute break to recap what you just read, so it stays with you.
Sophomore English teacher Elise Hamilton said, “I wouldn’t read in the middle of your homework because you’re probably thinking about the next thing that you have to do, or something that you’ve just done. But [reading] should be a good way to rest or relax or escape, and enjoy your book.”
2. Understand what you’re reading
Every time you end a chapter or section, write down what you just read. Whether it’s a one sentence summary, or a few analyzing the important points of the section for the book report or assignment you’ve been assigned, it’ll help you understand what you’ve just read, and it’ll stick in your head bit more.
Pace yourself as you read the book, and never leave it to read a week before your test or assignment’s due. It’s also not a good idea to finish it the week you get the book and then proceed to never look at it again until test day (that is if you are being tested on it. If it’s just a report or analysis, knock yourself out). Read a few pages a day, leaving a week before the assignment or test is, giving you enough time to again go over what you read, study, and further analyze the text you read.
Hamilton said, “[My students are] reading a section at a time, and then stopping to summarize what happened every week. And I’ve found that that has been really helpful in students not forgetting what they read before, and staying caught up with the plot.”
If you don’t effectively pace yourself and leave it all to the week before it is due, then there may be some consequences. Procrastination never helped anyone with anything.
“The more a student procrastinates, especially on a long term assignment, the more temptation there is to do something that may get them an honor code violation, like copy someone else’s work, or look something up on the internet. That usually comes from a place of stress and desperation because of procrastination,” said Hamilton.
4. Relate it to what you are interested in
Few teachers allow students to choose what they want to read, and most just give the students a class set of the same book that the students are expected to read, analyze and test on. If you get to choose what to read, pick something that you are interested in. If you get assigned a book, find something in it that interests you or find a way to relate main points of the book to something you enjoy. That way, when you are stuck on something, thinking about what you are interested in may help you remember, and make it a bit more enjoyable.
5. Put away distractions
When you read, put away all distractions such as your computer or phone. When you read, you’ll be tempted to take them out and look at them, but if you turn them off and concentrate on the material in front of you, you’ll find that reading will become easier and you won’t worry about what that new notification is about.
Hamilton said, “And if I’m free from those distractions and notifications, then I am able to really get into the story and make sure I’m comprehending what’s going on.”
Reading and understanding material for school purposes may be hard sometimes, but if you arm yourself with the correct weapons, you can conquer the world you enter in no time.
“Read all the time, as much as you can. It’s only going to help you,” said Hamilton.