Readings can be pretty daunting, first you’re expected to read large amounts of text and second after you read it you need to retain that information. A great way to do that is to make sure you take notes during your reading you can refer back to later.
Focus on Bolded Words or Topics
The publisher of the book didn’t take the time to make that text bold just because they felt like it, they did it to note that this is a key concept in the reading. You need to make sure you’re pulling out those key concepts in your notes so when you’re studying from them later you’re covering the most important material.
Pay Attention to Diagrams and Charts that Help Summarize the Information
Seeing a concept depicted in a graphical format can be really helpful. Repeating that diagram or chart in your notes can be really helpful later. Redraw the diagram or chart in your own notes.
Pay Attention to Chapter Summaries
Many textbook publishers include summaries and questions at the end of each chapter. Make note of these sections in your notes. They serve as excellent reminders of the key points of each section and what you need to take away from your reading.
Leave Room in Your Textbook Notes for Notes You’ll Take During Lecture
If there are key concepts you know your professor will cover within the lecture then leave a large amount of white space in your textbook notes. Having the information from your textbook and your professor in one place will come in really handy when it’s time to study for your test.
Circle, Star or Underline Key Concepts to Help Provide Emphasis
Sometimes if you stare at your notes for too long they can all become one big blur. Keep your notes organized in an outline format and find a way to make the key focus areas jump off the page.