10 Tips for Active Reading


It is easy to read an entire chapter out of a textbook and think, “I have no clue what I just read.” It takes effort to stay focused and engaged in your reading. You can’t just read. That is a passive behavior. You have to be active. You need to be thinking, questioning, writing, summarizing, reflecting, and talking out loud as you read.

Active Readers:

  • Link what they read to existing knowledge from information in the course or a previous course
  • Look for relationships and patterns in the reading as a whole
  • Use imagery and visualizations to help them remember information
  • Act as an interpreter of the text by putting things into their own words
  • Ask questions and monitor their comprehension of the material
  • Ask questions about material not yet read
  • Find out the meaning of words and terms that they don't understand
  • Cross-reference their text with their class notes
  • Come up with their own examples of concepts
  • Reflect on why the information is significant and how it relates to other concepts



Used with permission from Lory-Ann Varela, Director of TILT Learning Programs. 

"Reading Tips - Colorado State University." TILT Learning Programs. Accessed November 6, 2015. http://tilt.colostate.edu/learning/studySkills/pdfs/readingTips.pdf