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Q.   Where can I go to get some help with my textbook reading assignments?

A.   First schedule an appointment with your instructor to discuss your concerns.   Then based on what you and your instructor decide, you can go to the Learning Assistance Center (5th floor of the Library) and request a student tutor.   You can also contact The Reading Lab (5th floor of the Library) to inquire about reading classes.    You may also go to the Assessment Center (A113) to schedule an assessment test to determine your reading level.  

Q.   How helpful are study groups when it comes to reading the class text?

A.   It depends on whom is in the study group and how the group is organized.   One suggestion is for each study group member to read a different part of a chapter and then explain the key points to the rest of the study group.   Being responsible for less reading may be easier than trying to read and comprehend the entire chapter all at once.    Your study group members can also create 5 questions related to a chapter and then exchange the questions during your study session.   This is a good way to check comprehension and to see if students are reading for details or reading for main ideas.

Q.   What can I do to better understand the vocabulary words in my text?

A.   Understanding vocabulary is the key to all learning and comprehension.   If vocabulary is a challenge for you, then you must spend extra time creating flash cards with troublesome vocabulary and frequently reviewing the words and meanings.   Once again, study pairs may be a great way to test each other on the words.   Most key vocabulary words can be found in a text's glossary, and the words are usually bolded or italicized in the text for easy location.   When all else fails, you may need to spend some time with a dictionary looking up the challenging words.

Q.   Should I read my required text even though we may seldom discuss it in class?

A.   The answer is "Yes! Yes! Yes!"   By not reading the text, you are limiting your chance of gaining all the information that you can regarding your subject.   You might even surprise your instructor by including information from your text in your essay exams.   Remember that two heads are better than one, so definitely give the author of your text a chance to contribute to the subject material that you are learning.

Q.   If my text is very expensive, I will want to sell it at the end of the semester.    Considering this plan, shouId I highlight and write in my book?

A.   I have historically seen a difference in class performance between those students who write in their books and those who don't.   You are now in college where you can highlight, mark, and write in your texts.   Take advantage of the privilege.   Reading comprehension hinges on active reading rather than passive reading.   You are an active reader when you preview, question, highlight, write in the margins, and literally consume the text.   The little amount of money you get back for a returned text is not worth the tremendous loss of knowledge that occurs when you keep a distance from your text during a semester.    You only have 17 weeks to realize the benefit of your class, so capitalize on the opportunity while you can.

If you have more questions about reading your college texts, please e-mail me at