Ask questions—Are you confused about something? Write the question down. You might find the answer later, or you might get an opportunity to ask it to your classmates or teacher.

    React to what you read—maybe you just read something that made you mad, startled you, or brought you to tears. Write down your reaction to the text so you remember it later.

    Give an opinion—Do you like or dislike an idea? Do you think the author is too boring? Record this opinion next to the passage that inspired it.

    Locate important passages—Is there a quote that you think is important or thoughtful? Is there an idea you think might be worth remembering? Is there a ‘big idea’ that is at the foundation of the article? These are important to locate, as they are what you might quote in your investigation or written essay later.

    Make connections—Maybe something you read reminds you of an experience you’ve had or parallels a part of your life; record these connections and they will help you find meaning and relevancy in what you read.

    Define new words—Too often, reading comprehension problems occur because readers don’t understand words. It’s not too much trouble to look up the word in the classroom dictionary, dictionary.com, or your iPhone app when you are away from a computer or dictionary. If you physically can’t look the word up as you encounter it, highlight it in the moment and look it up at your first opportunity.

    Track themes—If you notice a reoccurring theme as you read, start noting the theme when it takes place. Doing so will help you understand the message that the article is trying to convey.

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