Reading Strategies

Active Reading Introduction

Being an active reader means engaging with the text you are reading—by taking notes, summarizing, drawing diagrams, etc. Compare this to passive reading, which is when we read a text without questioning, fully understanding, or making personal connections. For many college courses, it is not good enough to just passively read the information and hope you’ll hang onto it.

Simply reading and re-reading texts is not an effective way to understand the material. Actively engaging with the text saves time. Since a great deal of reading will be assigned in multiple classes, it is essential to actively participate in the act of reading to gain maximum insights and fully evaluate the text’s relevance and your understanding of it.  

We must continue to evolve our note-taking and reading habits throughout our tenure as students. On the following pages, you will find some information to help you better understand the expectations of college reading and some strategies to help you read actively and better engage with the text.