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When you read something how do you read it?

find_the_fun

Active member
Feb 1, 2012
166
When you read to learn something new in what order do you read it? For example do you read the entire chapter start to end, read the end first, or only read a little bit and when you need more information read only the part that pertains to what you want to know (by using the index). I find myself doing the last.
 

ZaidAlyafey

Well-known member
MHB Math Helper
Jan 17, 2013
1,667
I don't usually rush to read a book about a certain subject unless I have a little background about the subject this way I organize how I am going to read the book. Usually you might want to read about something that is not necessarily a huge topic but let us say it is a general topic that many fields benefit from . I usually google the topic to have a general background , if I see myself interested I may then think about reading a specialized book in the topic. It is always preferable when starting reading a new book to read the preface to know how to go about reading the chapters and what background you need to fulfill your goal. It happened lots of time that I read a certain book then I am stuck at a certain topic which I don't understand. What I usually do is stop reading the book and try to spend sometime reading about that topic if the author doesn't provide a clear explanation . It not necessarily that you go linearly when reading a book , you might go from the last chapter but that depends on how the topics are connected together .
 

SuperSonic4

Well-known member
MHB Math Helper
Mar 1, 2012
249
I skim read, if I understand that's great and time to move on. If not I'll look more in depth
 

Bacterius

Well-known member
MHB Math Helper
Jan 26, 2012
644
I scan it back and forth until I get intuition about what the contents are. Then I may read it once. After that I keep it for future reference.
 

Klaas van Aarsen

MHB Seeker
Staff member
Mar 5, 2012
8,774
First I scan the chapter for bold and/or cursive words and/or definitions.
Then I try to absorb which words are introduced and what they appear to mean.
Often I write them down to absorb them quicker.
 

Jameson

Administrator
Staff member
Jan 26, 2012
4,040
I have written a very long post about my thoughts on how I try to approach a new math topic and the various factors that influence the best strategy, but now I'm not sure about the question. Are we talking about reading any book, or just math books? Is mastery of the content the ultimate goal?

Learning material for a test in a fixed amount of time is a skill that can be developed and can be very useful, but that's a completely different idea than trying to master the content and be able to use it effectively in the future.

Yet another possibility is reading through a large amount of material in a very short period of time and trying to become familiar enough with the general ideas and terminology to be able to hold a basic conversation but not go in depth at all.

What is the question? :confused:
 
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find_the_fun

Active member
Feb 1, 2012
166
I have written a very long post about my thoughts on how I try to approach a new math topic and the various factors that influence the best strategy, but now I'm not sure about the question. Are we talking about reading any book, or just math books? Is mastery of the content the ultimate goal?

Learning material for a test in a fixed amount of time is a skill that can be developed and can be very useful, but that's a completely different idea than trying to master the content and be able to use it effectively in the future.

Yet another possibility is reading through a large amount of material in a very short period of time and trying to become familiar enough with the general ideas and terminology to be able to hold a basic conversation but not go in depth at all.

What is the question? :confused:
I was thinking of any type of text book really. I've seen some Encyclopedias that refer the reader to one page and that page refers them back to the first. In these scenarios sometimes I'm not sure which to read first.

I came up with this question when I was trying to learn a revision control program and the tutorial linked to a page on basic understanding which links back to the tutorial.
 
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Klaas van Aarsen

MHB Seeker
Staff member
Mar 5, 2012
8,774
I was thinking of any type of text book really. I've seen some Encyclopedias that refer the reader to one page and that page refers them back to the first. In these scenarios sometimes I'm not sure which to read first.
Any book I'm trying to learn from, I use the same strategy of first trying to pick up the jargon before trying to make sense of the content.

An easy to read novel that I read for enjoyment, I read from front to back.
 

Natassha

New member
Apr 12, 2013
0
How to Read a Textbook for Full Understanding

This is the question which hit every mind, one of answer is "If you teach perfectly the topic you learn to your classmate or other then it seems you really understand the topic"

One going through a Physics Blog I got some new steps on understanding a topic, and I think to share with you.

1) Read a section in the chapter.
2) Then, do the example problems for that section without looking at the solutions.
3) After that, look at the solution and see where you agree, but more importantly, where you differ from the solution.
4) Understand why you went wrong, and make a note (mental or physical) about it
5) Look at the problem set and answer the ones relevant to that section. If the problems get too redundant, simply write down the outline of the solution. Skip the ones that you are unable to solve.
6) Check your solutions.
7) Review.
8) If critical thinking questions are present, answer them next
9) Review.
10) Figure out how to solve the problems you couldn't solve from different sources like Math Help Boards, teachers, mentors, books, etc.
11) If within mathematical ability, work out every theorem, every proof, and make sure you have it down to the bone. If not, skip for now, but make a note of it and get back to it when mathematical ability is improved.
12) Repeat the steps for all the other sections until the entire chapter is done.
13) Review
14) Read up articles related to the chapter
15) Smile, because you now have a very firm understanding of the chapter you just covered.

Originally Posted by me on Physics Forums.
 

Ackbach

Indicium Physicus
Staff member
Jan 26, 2012
4,191