7) Operate Within Your Attention Span
Paying attention is central to memorization. Trying to read when you can’t concentrate is wasting time. Since most people have short attention spans, they should not try to read dense material for more than 10 or 15 minutes at a time. After such a session, they should take a break and quiz themselves on what they just read.
Ultimately, readers should discipline their attention so they can concentrate for longer periods.
8) Rehearse Soon After Reading Is Finished
At the reading session end, rehearse what you learned right away. Avoid distractions and multi-tasking because they interfere with the consolidation processes that enable longer-term memory. Answer again the questions about content mentioned in the “Rehearse As You Go Along” section.
Think about and rehearse what you read at least twice later that day. Rehearse again at last once for the next 2–3 days.
- Read with a purpose.
- Skim first.
- Get the reading mechanics right.
- Be judicious in highlighting and note taking.
- Think in pictures.
- Rehearse as you go along.
- Stay within your attention span and work to increase that span.
- Rehearse again soon.
– W. R. (Bill) Klemm, D.V.M., Ph.D. Scientist, professor, author, speaker. As a professor of Neuroscience at Texas A&M University, Bill has taught about the brain and behavior at all levels, from freshmen, to seniors, to graduate students to post-docs. His recent books include Thank You, Brain, For All You Remember. What You Forgot Was My Fault‚ and Core Ideas in Neuroscience.
Excellent article! I just read that entire post, out loud, and retained the main points from it. These tips will certainly come in handy. Thank you.
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The first step in learning how to read and retain information from scholarly works is to understand how they are organized. Each field has specific conventions regarding the composition of peer reviewed articles and books. Most scientific articles include an introduction which sets the stage for the research study, a methods section which describes how the research was conducted, including samples and measures, a results section discussing the statistical analyses conducted and whether the hypothesis was supported or refuted, and a discussion section that considers the study s findings in light of the research literature and draws overall conclusions. Books contain structured argument, generally leading from an introduction to chapters that make and support specific points, and concluding with a discussion that draws conclusions. Learn the conventions of your discipline.