Dealing with difficult reading passages

This was created by Shawana Shapiro PH.D Middlebury College

Individual words/sentences

  • Mark '?' an move on
  • Look for clues in the rest of the paragraph
  • Don't linger too long! You can always skip a passage (particularly if it's not that long).

Short sections

  • Ajust reading speed
  • Read aloud
  • Identify key words
  • Focus on first and last sentences of paragraphs
  • Make personal connections to anything in the text
  • Consider WHY you don't understand. Is it...
    • a key word/concept (then maybe Google it)
    • the structure (then look for subject/verb)
    • too abstract? (then read aloud and try to make a connection)
    • boring or repetitive (then keep reading and look for connections)
  • Bring questions to class to ask peers and/or teacher

Most of the text

  • Make sure you preview
  • Map out the text- at least know keywords and topics
  • Make your own Reading log: main point/concept + comment/question/connection
  • Don't be afraid to read secondary sources
  • Don't give up- try to get at least a few points from the text!